CM October 2020

credit

The CICM magazine for credit consumer and commercial credit professionals

CREDIT MANAGEMENT

CM

OCTOBER 2020 £12.50

THE CICM MAGAZINE FOR CONSUMER AND

COMMERCIAL CREDIT PROFESSIONALS

Digging Deep

Tough times ahead for the

UK agricultural sector

Enforcement action

has started afresh.

Page 12

Sean Feast FCICM

talks to Karen Savage

of Azzurro Law. Page 21


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9

FALSE DAWNS

Sue Chapple

FCICM

CICM GOVERNANCE

View our digital version online at www.cicm.com. Log on to the Members’

area, and click on the tab labelled ‘Credit Management magazine’

Credit Management is distributed to the entire UK and international CICM

membership, as well as additional subscribers

Reproduction in whole or part is forbidden without specific permission. Opinions expressed in this magazine do

not, unless stated, reflect those of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management. The Editor reserves the right to

abbreviate letters if necessary. The Institute is registered as a charity. The mark ‘Credit Management’ is a registered

trade mark of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management.

Any articles published relating to English law will differ from laws in Scotland and Wales.

16

PICTURE PERFECT

Aneesh Varma

21

LEGALLY SPEAKING

Karen Savage

18

GROWING PAINS

Markus Kuger

President Stephen Baister FCICM / Chief Executive Sue Chapple FCICM

Executive Board: Chair Debbie Nolan FCICM(Grad) – Vice Chair Phil Rice FCICM /Treasurer Glen Bullivant FCICM

Larry Coltman FCICM / Victoria Herd FCICM(Grad) / Philip Holbrough MCICM

Advisory Council: Sarah Aldridge FCICM / Laurie Beagle FCICM / Glen Bullivant FCICM / Alan Church FCICM(Grad)

Brendan Clarkson FCICM / Larry Coltman FCICM / Niall Cooter FCICM / Peter Gent FCICM(Grad) / Victoria Herd FCICM(Grad)

Philip Holbrough MCICM / Neil Jinks FCICM / Nick King FCICM / Charles Mayhew FCICM / Debbie Nolan FCICM(Grad)

Bryony Pettifor FCICM(Grad)/ Allan Poole MCICM / Alice Purdy MCICM(Grad) / Matthew Roberts MCICM / Phil Rice FCICM

Chris Sanders FCICM / Stephen Thomson FCICM / Atul Vadher FCICM(Grad)

OCTOBER 2020

www.cicm.com

CONTENTS

9 – False Dawns?

What does ‘normal’ look like in the

months ahead?

10 – Fire Hazard

Will we see an end to pre-packs and the

Pre-Pack Pool?

12 – Welcome Home?

CIVEA members are helping local

authorities to recover vital cash.

16 – Picture Perfect

The impact of COVID-19 on future credit

reports.

18 – Growing Pains

It’s an anxious time for farming. Markus

Kuger of D&B explores the sector’s

future.

21 – Legally Speaking

Sean Feast FCICM talks commercial

collections to Karen Savage of Azzurro

Law.

24 – Mind your Language

Poland is a great place to do business,

but the language can be a barrier.

29 – Open all Hours?

Karen Young wonders what is next for

the workplace.

32 – Executive Board

Sean Feast FCICM profiles the CICM’s

new Executive Board.

37 – Ship to Shore

Does off-shoring AR work in a

pandemic?

38 – Calm before the Storm

How the payment landscape has

changed since lockdown.

Publisher

Chartered Institute of Credit Management

The Water Mill, Station Road, South Luffenham

OAKHAM, LE15 8NB

Telephone: 01780 722900

Email: editorial@cicm.com

Website: www.cicm.com

CMM: www.creditmanagement.org.uk

Managing Editor

Sean Feast FCICM

Deputy Editor

Iona Yadallee

Art Editor

Andrew Morris

Telephone: 01780 722910

Email: andrew.morris@cicm.com

Editorial Team

Rob Howard and Imogen Hart

Advertising

Grace Ghattas

Telephone: 020 3603 7946

Email: grace@cabbell.co.uk

Printers

Stephens & George Print Group

2020 subscriptions

UK: £112 per annum

International: £145 per annum

Single copies: £12.50

ISSN 0265-2099

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 3


EDITOR’S COLUMN

It’s a mad mad

mad mad world

Sean Feast FCICM

Managing Editor

THEY used to say when I was

young that you never saw a

poor farmer. As a farmer’s

son, I remember it well, and

I recall how very angry my

father became every time

he heard it.

He certainly wasn’t rich, and battled

night and day through the driest summers

and the bleakest winters to keep our farm

afloat. Then came the Spring of 1992, and

an outbreak of BSE across the UK that took

over 100 cattle from our own herd. Perhaps

this doesn’t seem like a large number

compared to the 37,000 that died or were

slaughtered that year as a result of Mad Cow

Disease, but it was more than half of what

we had.

Somehow, he recovered, rebuilt the herd

(he used to buy three calves for a fiver at

the market – those that were not expected

to make it through the night – and nurse

them back to health, the dear old softy)

and managed to get the farm back onto its

feet. Then came the Spring of 2001, and

an outbreak of Foot & Mouth that led to

more deaths, another depleted herd, and a

decision at last to throw in the towel.

There was very little coverage given to

the plight of farmers like my father at the

time. Being on the Isle of Man, the bigger

news was the cancellation of the TT which

was, and I should imagine still is, the

Island’s biggest revenue generator outside

of Financial Services.

I wonder, had my father lived and my

brothers and I had taken over the farm,

what he would now be making of COVID-19.

For farmers today are in a parlous state, not

helped by poor weather and an expected

poor harvest.

Markus Kuger, the genius Chief Economist

at Dun & Bradstreet, looks at the sector in

detail in our lead article, and reveals how

many farms have been lost in the last four

years alone. While payment performance

across the agricultural sector as a whole is

encouraging, it’s not all good news.

Uncertainty over Brexit combined with

a decline in demand for certain foodstuffs

such as dairy due to the wholesale closure of

restaurants and cafés is putting pressure on

an industry already under duress. Markus

confirms there are difficult times ahead,

profits will be down, but that the industry

will survive. I’m sure it will, but there will

be failures. So next time you think that all

farmers are raking it in, spare a thought for

my father and others like him. It’s not all

fields of gold.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 4


CMNEWS

A round-up of news stories from the

world of consumer and commercial credit.

Written by – Sean Feast FCICM

David Postings,

Chief Executive

of Bibby Financial

Services

Pressure mounting on SMEs as

Ministers demand return to work

THE majority (55 percent) of UK

SMEs are being paid later as

a result of the pandemic in a

trend which is threatening the

economic recovery.

A report by Bibby Financial Services

(BFS) suggests that more than a third

(36 percent) of SMEs have seen payment

times increase by more than three

weeks, while 28 percent have seen an

increase in bad debt. More than one in 10

(12 percent) have customers who refuse

outright to pay money owed.

As the economy begins to restart,

Bibby believes these financial pressures

are hindering the ability of SMEs to get

back to business. Some 14 percent of

SMEs have been forced to turn down new

business as the money they need to buy

raw materials is wrapped up in unpaid

invoices, and one in 10 (11 percent) have

had to keep staff on furlough who they

need to bring back to complete work.

While there is a clear economic cost

to SMEs, there is also a personal one.

SME owners are struggling to balance

the financial pressures of the pandemic

with their own wellbeing with a third (34

percent) admitting to not having a single

day off since the start of lockdown and

27 percent citing a deteriorating work life

balance.

The research shows that 56 percent

of SMEs will be unable to meet their

running costs beyond 12 months as poor

payment practices complicate already

stretched supply chains. Nearly a quarter

(22 percent) of UK SMEs have lost a

supplier already due to the business

closing and 12 percent admit to delaying

a payment to a supplier in an attempt to

manage cashflow.

David Postings, Chief Executive of

Bibby Financial Services, says pressure

on SMEs is reaching an unsustainable

level: “Everyone likes to talk about SMEs

being the backbone of the UK economy

and they clearly have a critical role to

play in the country’s economic recovery,

but too often we lose sight of the people

that run and work in them. There are 5.9

million SMEs in the UK, often employing

fewer than 10 people, and for businesses

of that size, it’s personal.”

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 5


NEWS ROUNDUP

Report claims rise as digital

demands clearer leadership

STRONG and clear leadership

are key to the transformative

success of digital in the

workplace, according to a report

from the ACCA that reveals the

challenges and opportunities faced by

organisations during the pandemic.

Data and digital transformations have

increased exponentially in the workplace

over the COVID-19 pandemic, with

the role of and reliance on technology

becoming more significant than ever

before as more organisations adopt

digital products and services to survive.

ACCA says this has been the result of

the maturing of digital applications to a

level that’s made them widely usable and

hyper-relevant in the current situation.

ACCA’s report - Digitisation and the

Global Pandemic - examines the impact

of this immense change due to the

pandemic and includes case studies

from business leaders around the world.

It offers practical guidance to cope with

digital transformation, using ACCA’s ‘Act,

Analyse and Anticipate road to recovery’

model with a focus on digital.

ACCA recommends the first step is to

act to ensure operability; then analyse

the situation ahead by looking for

opportunities; then finally comes the

transformation of the organisation by

establishing a digital strategy, identifying

the role of technology to support the

future strategic workforce plan

virtually and physically, and how its

presence can be sustained in the longer

term.

Narayanan Vaidyanathan, the author

of the report says technology and digital

have helped many organisations to

continue to operate: “Those already

thinking about digitisation have adapted

better, while those who had historically

resisted it found their problems

amplified. That’s why we think our

roadmap is helpful, a practical guide to

plan over the short, medium and long

term to cope with digital change.

“Many have had to accelerate their

digital plans and make huge changes

to how an organisation actually works.

Home working has become the norm,

and for managers this has demanded a

change in style and approach – the rise

of digital has meant the need for even

more leadership from the front, with

a strong human touch.”

ACCA says the pandemic has also

transformed how business is done, with

a greater expectation that organisations

will act with care and compassion.

Sam Ellis, chair of ACCA’s Global

Technology Forum, says that COVID-19

has, at least for now, reduced the

tolerance for traditional hard-charging

ways of doing business: “Organisations

are thinking more critically about what

their digital footprint says about their

values and respect for the community.

But we are very much still in unchartered

waters.”

(See Sue Chapple’s column on page 9.)

Debbie Nolan appointed new CICM Chair

DEBBIE Nolan FCICM(Grad) has

succeeded Pete Whitmore FCICM as

Chair of the CICM Executive Board

of Trustees. She is joined in her new

position by Phil Rice FCICM as Vice Chair

and Glen Bullivant FCICM as Treasurer.

Debbie, the UK CEO of global financial

solutions company, Arvato, has been a

graduate member of the CICM for more

than 25 years. She has spent almost all of

her working life in the credit industry in a

number of different roles for high profile

organisations, predominantly focused

on consumer credit, recoveries and

collections.

Debbie says she is honoured to be

elected: “I’d like to think that I’ve been

able to utilise the experience that I have

gained in my ‘day job’ to help support and

shape the CICM over the last two years

and will continue to do so in the future.

We need a collaborative, forward thinking

Executive Board more than ever to tackle

the challenges of a post-pandemic period

that is likely to have a lasting impact on

our industry.”

Sue Chapple FCICM, Chief Executive

of the CICM, said she was delighted

to welcome Debbie as Chair: “Pete has

done an excellent job in steering the

Executive Board with Debbie as his

Deputy, so Debbie will be able to hit the

ground running. There is much to be

accomplished over the next two years

and Debbie’s knowledge, insight and

experience will be critical as we take the

CICM and its members on the next stage

of our journey in promoting best-practice

credit management.”

Debbie has represented Consumer

Credit on the CICM Advisory Council

since 2016 and has served as Vice Chair

on the Executive Board for the last two

years.

Other elected Executive

Board Trustees are Larry

Coltman FCICM, Victoria

Herd FCICM(Grad) and Phil

Holbrough MCICM.

(See article on page 32.)

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 6


UK workers ‘better off’ during

lockdown, survey claims

TWO thirds of British workers have been

better off financially since lockdown,

primarily as a result of working from

home and not going out.

The survey, commissioned by Eskenzi

PR, found that of 1,000 people surveyed,

30 percent said they saved on lunches by

working from home, 60 percent of people

saved money by not going out, and half

(50 percent) saved on commuting costs.

The study also found that almost

90 percent of those employed in the

financial sector reported savings.

Similarly, those in IT, Legal, HR and

Education also managed to increase

their savings during the months of

lockdown. Even key workers were able to

save, despite still having to commute to

work. In fact, 65 percent of retail workers,

builders and manual labourers reported

being better off financially since March

2020, according to the findings.

Workers managed to save an

average of £820 over the six-month

lockdown period just by making lunch

at home - based on the average cost of

eating out at lunch of £3.56, Monday to

Friday - resulting in an overwhelming

£8.1bn saved on out-of-home lunches

nationwide. These financial benefits

have led to more than a third (35 percent)

of respondents to cite their ability to

save by working from home as one of

the reasons why they are not looking

NEWS ROUNDUP

forward to returning to office life.

Unfortunately, some may struggle

to continue this saving streak as

Government incentives come to an

end. With the furlough scheme and the

popular Eat Out to Help Out initiative

ending, it has become more difficult but

necessary to save. From January 2021

rail prices will also be increasing by 1.6

percent, while the congestion charge in

London has already risen to £15, meaning

that annual travel expenditure will

increase making it more difficult to save

if people return to the office.

Although we may be coming out of

lockdown and spending is increasing,

there are still ways you can maintain

savings. The survey found that 30

percent of respondents believed they

won’t be back in the office until 2021,

and three quarters (75 percent) reported

that their employers will allow flexible

working, enabling these saving patterns

to continue.

Yvonne Eskenzi, Co-founder of

Eskenzi PR, says it’s clear that many

workers are not keen to rush back to

an office: “It all comes down to the

employers now – will most of them

allow their staff the freedom to work

flexibility? My gut feeling is that it’s

going to happen whether employers like

it or not as a revolution has happened

right under our noses.”

Personal and corporate insolvency

statistics hide true impact of COVID

CORPORATE insolvencies fell to

778 in August 2020 compared to the

previous month’s figure of 961 and are

significantly lower than they were in the

corresponding period last year (1,369).

Personal insolvencies similarly fell to

6,359 in total compared to July’s figure

of 7,330 and are significantly lower than

August 2019’s figure (8,892).

The decrease in corporate

insolvencies over August was driven by a

drop in administrations and compulsory

liquidations, while the fall in personal

insolvencies is said to have been driven

by a reduction across each of the three

main personal insolvency processes

(bankruptcies, Debt Relief Orders and

Individual Voluntary Arrangements).

Despite the falls, R3 President Colin

Haig believes there is no question

that the pandemic is taking its toll on

businesses and individuals, even though

the impact is not yet being reflected in

the figures: “With a number of temporary

Government measures aimed at reducing

insolvency numbers now coming to an

end, this situation may start to change

before long,” he says,

“The Government’s support measures

have provided vital protection for

businesses and consumers, but as they

begin to wind down and this crucial

safety net disappears, we expect to see

more requests for personal and corporate

insolvency advice and support.”

Colin says this is a worrying time for

the UK, its economy and its business

community: “Unemployment is

increasing, business debt is rising, and,

despite growth in July, the economy

is still nearly 12 percent below prepandemic

levels,” he continues.

“More big brands have announced

cuts in staffing levels over the last

month as they attempt to steer their

way through the new landscape created

by the pandemic. This, coupled with

contraction in the services sector, and

manufacturing and construction still

well behind their pre-pandemic state,

means it is a tough time for British

businesses.”

>NEWS

IN BRIEF

Lowell Results

LOWELL has announced its second

quarter results which it says

demonstrate growth across its three-key

metrics: Cash Income; Cash EBITDA; and

£120m ERC. A statement from the credit

management services business said

its performance was down to financial

prudence and increasing efficiency.

Vision On

MANAGING Editor Sean Feast FCICM

recently appeared on a media channel

in South Africa, comparing the UK

experience of lockdown with its South

African counterparts, in particular in

relation to credit and debt counselling.

“It seems that whereas volumes of

debt collected have risen and calls to

counselling services have fallen over

here, the opposite is the case in South

Africa,” he said. Sean was interviewed

by Zak King, editor of Debtfreedigi.co.za

who will be writing of the South African

experience in a future issue.

Senior appointment

AZZURRO Associates, a pioneer in

commercial debt solutions (CDS),

has appointed experienced Fintech

executive Stefan Acklam as Finance

Director. Stefan has more than 20 years’

expertise in Financial Services in the UK

and US, having recently been Finance

Director for a well-known Challenger

Bank, supporting the business through

its Prudential Regulation Authority

(PRA) approvals and successful multimillion-pound

fund raising. He has a

proven track record in building strong

finance teams, and in putting in place

the necessary financial systems and

processes demanded of a highly

regulated industry. A former senior

consultant with KPMG, Stefan was

attracted to the new role by the team and

the opportunity: “Azzurro Associates is a

well-funded business that is clearly at a

very exciting stage of its development,”

he says. (See interview with Karen

Savage, Azzurro Associates Chief

Operating Officer on page 21.)

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 7


Car finance applications provide

timely boost for motor traders

STRONG car finance application

figures and a surge in people

searching for deals online has

given motor traders a boost

as the new ‘70’ plate launches,

according to Experian.

Applications for both Personal Contract

Purchase (PCP) and Hire Purchase (HP)

agreements have been markedly higher

than during the same period in 2019 since

showrooms reopened on June 1. Pent up

demand led to an 18.6 percent increase in

car finance applications in the first three

weeks of August, following a bumper

July when applications were 27.7 percent

ahead of 2019’s figures.

September was a critical month

for motor traders who need to make

up for time lost during the enforced

closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Experian’s figures show 390,000 fewer

applications for car finance have been

made in 2020 compared to last year at

the time showrooms re-opened in June.

However, trading since has cut the deficit

to 234,000.

Activity on Experian’s Marketplace,

where people can compare car finance

deals and check their likelihood of being

accepted, provides encouraging signs for

motor traders. Searches have increased

by 291 percent since the lockdown began,

suggesting many people are looking for

ways to finance a car purchase in the

coming weeks.

Gerardo Montoya, Managing Director

of Automotive at Experian, says motor

traders have been working hard to

NEWS ROUNDUP

DIRTY MONEY

recover from the lockdown period when

showrooms closed, and sales reduced to

a fraction of normal levels: “Our figures

show car finance applications have

picked up markedly since customers

returned to forecourts in June. Demand

has come from people whose income

has not been affected by the pandemic

and have money in their pockets, as well

as those who are uncomfortable using

public transport.

“The recent plate change offers a

chance for motor traders to recover

more of the sales they missed out on

during lockdown. There’s been a surge in

people searching for car finance on price

comparison websites which suggests

forecourts could be busy. Motor traders

will rely on data to understand people’s

financial situations and how they may

have been affected by coronavirus, so the

finance deals they offer are affordable for

the long term.”

SMARTSEARCH, the anti-money laundering service, has published figures to show that

the total amount of money laundered in the UK in 2019 was a staggering £325 billion.

For context, it says, this sum could buy Buckingham Palace outright 271 times, or the

White House, valued at £319 million, 1,018 times. For those interested in record-breaking

buildings and sporting landmarks, this sum of money could also pay for the world’s

tallest building, Burj Khalifa⁴, 217 times, or Wembley Stadium a staggering 271 times.

>NEWS

IN BRIEF

Kicked into touch

THE Federation of Small Businesses

(FSB) has dismissed the Government’s

new kickstart programme as being

‘more aligned to the needs of larger

businesses’ rather than SMEs. National

Chair Mike Cherry says that many of

his members are disappointed with

the plan: "Small firms, who are the

largest employers across the business

landscape, have long expressed interest

in this scheme and will be disappointed

to find it harder than expected to take

part. To put it bluntly, this scheme

has not been designed with small

businesses front of mind.”

Icing on the cake

THE Accounts Receivable Team within

the Grocery Service Centre of Associated

British Foods, has been accredited as a

CICM Centre of Excellence. A full report

on how the team attained the Institute’s

highest accolade will be included in a

future issue.

Hard wired

WIRECARD has announced it will

be winding-down its FCA-regulated

business. The business will continue to

trade while alternative arrangements are

being made with its card providers. This

action has followed ongoing events in

Germany concerning Wirecard’s parent

company, Wirecard AG, and previous

action from the FCA. Customers are

being advised to contact their card

provider if they are concerned or have

any questions.

Vacant possession

VACANCIES for unfilled Regional

Representative roles on Advisory

Council have now been filled, following

appointments made by the

Executive Board. Nick King FCICM, has

been appointed South West Regional

Representative; Matthew Roberts

MCICM is filling the West Midlands

Regional Representative post; and Atul

Vadher FCICM(Grad) has been appointed

Regional Representative for the East

of England. Profiles will appear in the

November issue.

CICM Essentials

TO stay up-to-date with all that is happening at the CICM – from qualifications to

training, and membership to events – see the weekly e-newsletter CICM Essentials.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 8


FROM THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE

False Dawns?

A sense of normality is returning to business.

AUTHOR – Sue Chapple FCICM

Sue Chapple FCICM

IT could be a false dawn, but in recent

days I’ve sensed a return to some

sort of normality in the business

world. Not a ‘new normal’ (a phrase

I have already come to detest) but

rather some of the ‘old’ normal with

a desire for human contact and a relationship

with one’s friends and colleagues which isn’t

dictated to by the vagaries of the various ‘team’

platforms.

That’s not to say that the world hasn’t

changed. Initial fears over the virus have

now morphed into a fear of litigation for

failing to provide adequate protection for

one’s employees as they return to work. That

has left some companies stymied and others

persuading themselves that ‘working from

home’ has been a great success. Has it? When

I read or hear that productivity has increased

and employee wellbeing has improved, I’m

not convinced. Productivity has improved

against what benchmark, as we’ve never been

here before? And are employees really better

off working from home? I hear just as many

stories of people desperate to return to work

for the simple need to get out of their houses

and interact with something other than a twoyear

old or a pot noodle.

RARIFIED AIR

I think of the last few months as living in

rarified air, and now we are all being jerked

back to a harsh reality. And whereas some

things have changed, others haven’t. Take

the world of collections. On the one hand, we

know – and it has been reported in this journal

previously – that collections volumes have

increased, settlements have increased, and

calls to debt advice lines have plummeted.

Given the economic crisis, this may all

sound counter-intuitive, but it appears that

many people in debt have chosen to take

advantage of furloughs, payment holidays and

a reduction in outgoings through not travelling

to work and not being able to go away to settle

up their debts and get their respective houses

in order. For they know a storm is coming.

Indeed, we all know a storm is coming, and

that’s where the reality bit comes in.

Payment holidays have helped a great many

consumers no doubt, but there is now a danger

of a new ‘division’ between the ‘have’s’ and the

‘have not’s’. Those who could, and have used

Government measures and their own change

in circumstances to address their debt levels

are likely to emerge from the crisis in a much

better place than those who did not. Those

who did not, either through misfortune,

ignorance or deliberate intent, could now

find themselves in a desperately parlous state,

and giving a whole new meaning to the word

‘vulnerability’.

Most commentators agree that this is

a period of hiatus. Payment holidays are

coming to an end. Many employees who

were furloughed are now earmarked for

redundancy. Some who were on zero-hours

contract fell between the gaps and are already

seriously struggling. The problem is that those

who can least afford to lose their jobs are

the ones who are most often impacted. Our

challenge as an industry is how do we help?

What does our response look like?

In the business world, there is also the

feeling of the Phoney War about it. The Spectre

at the Feast. Insolvency Practitioners are

predicting business failures in their hundreds

of thousands and are gearing up accordingly

to help save those they can and liquidate

those they can’t. But then not every business

or every sector is failing. Tesco, for example,

is hiring almost as many as British Airways is

making redundant. The aerospace industry is

in freefall whereas the online market has gone

inter-galactic.

Where it will all end, nobody really knows.

Do we really expect to see large corporates

abandon their London HQs wholesale and

move to the country, citing COVID-19 as a

convenient excuse for a long-held desire to

cut costs? Will the City become a ghost town?

Who can tell. All I do know, is that nothing will

surprise me either way.

Sue Chapple FCICM Chief Executive of the

Chartered Institute of Credit Management

(CICM).

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 9


INSOLVENCY SPECIAL

Fire Hazard

What happens to the Pre-Pack Pool in the light of no CIGA?

AUTHOR – David Kerr FCICM

David Kerr FCICM

PERHAPS one of the most

surprising items of news

from the summer of this

extraordinary year has been

the absence of the expected

surge in insolvency numbers.

The lockdown has certainly taken its toll on

the economy, with the rapid loss of a fifth

of our national output, but the short-term

success of the Government’s emergency

measures has saved many businesses from

going under – for now!

Those measures included the Corporate

Insolvency & Governance Act (CIGA) relief,

with its temporary reprieve from the

risks of personal liability for directors, a

halt to compulsory winding-up, and new

permanent measures intended to help

companies survive. Additionally, of course,

there were loans through the furlough

scheme which has seen Treasury cover 80

percent of wages for millions of employees.

As this support is withdrawn, Insolvency

Practitioners (IPs) expect to see an upturn in

insolvencies.

The parliamentary debate on CIGA, as

the Bill wound its way through the Houses,

provoked some of the expected broader

discussion on insolvency matters generally,

and the subject of pre-packs was amongst

those receiving an airing – notwithstanding

the absence of any provisions in the Bill on

this procedure. But in fact that was precisely

the problem, in that the Government had let

the review deadline set in the 2015 legislation

pass by in May without any announcement

of its intention one way or the other on the

need for further legislative measures.

This was picked up in the Lords’ debate,

and brought about an amendment to CIGA,

accepted by Government, to mark this

forward twelve months. We are not likely

to see pre-packs banned – not even those

to connected parties – so, with another

year in which to deliberate, what might the

Government do?

PRE-PACK POOL

The Pre-Pack Pool (PPP) was set up on the

back of a recommendation in the Graham

report to review sales to connected parties

in administrations, but it steered away

from directly second-guessing IPs’ sale

decisions and was based on voluntary

applications by prospective purchasers

– part of a suite of measures to improve

stakeholder confidence and avoid the need

for legislation. No compulsion regarding

the PPP – though Graham now supports

mandatory pool scrutiny to retain connected

party pre-packs in their present form, as PPP

usage has fallen away to the point where its

latest annual reports confirmed it had just

24 referrals in 2018 (10 percent of eligible

cases, i.e. connected party purchases from

administrators through a pre-pack), down

to eight percent in 2019. Interestingly, PPP

referrals in 2020 to end August total 27.

Arguably, there are two consequences

that may flow from this low level of activity –

one directly for the PPP, and another for the

profession as a whole. A direct consequence

A review of some SIPs

has been underway

over the summer, and

CICM has contributed

its comments with

input from the

Technical Committee,

and more recently

there have been

some developments

with the Breathing

Space proposals for

individuals in financial

difficulty.

for the PPP is potential insolvency! We

might assume the professional bodies will

stump up the necessary funds to avoid

PPP going bust, but nevertheless, a rather

embarrassing situation. However, of greater

importance perhaps is the perceived failure

of PPP to meet its objective of addressing

stakeholder (i.e. mainly, creditor) concern

about connected party pre-pack deals that

can sometimes look at least a little too cosy

to some, or generate noise about abuse

amongst others.

Assessment on whether the PPP has

failed in terms of its purpose is something

the Insolvency Service will no doubt opine

on shortly, with publication of the findings

of its review into pre-packs. It would not be

unreasonable, however, to point to the fact

that, when engaged, the PPP has done what

was asked of it. It has turned around opinions

from pool members in double-quick time,

well within its 48-hour target and usually

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 10


INSOLVENCY SPECIAL

AUTHOR – David Kerr FCICM

within 24 hours. It has reviewed 100+ cases

since its inception and most of its opinions

have concluded that the pre-pack deals were

not unreasonable in the circumstances –

sometimes going further, as in the recently

reported Everest case where the pool member

commented that the pre-pack was the best

course of action for customers and staff (hmm

– but what about creditors, do I hear you ask?).

Critics might rightly question what

happens in the 90 percent of cases that are not

referred to the PPP. How many of those deals

would pass the test of independent scrutiny?

We simply don’t know; though we do know

from IPs’ statements that there is a good level

of compliance generally, and that regulators

are looking not only at compliance but also at

the soundness of the transaction as a whole

(up to a point). And we should remember that

a pre-pack may be saving a business and jobs

when that business might otherwise cease

trading with probably a worse outcome for

creditors.

INDEPENDENT OPINION

As creditors, do you value PPP opinions, and

act upon them in decisions about future

trade? There’s little evidence for that. Are

creditors making as much noise about prepacks

now as five years ago? [A test Graham

set as a barometer for the success or otherwise

of the voluntary measures]. Perhaps not. The

number of cases remains modest, though there

has been a 40 percent increase in pre-packs

since 2015. But as the recent parliamentary

debate and some press coverage illustrates,

an aroma of doubt lingers – unhealthily so for

the profession and its reputation.

Perhaps PPP referrals could be made

compulsory to ‘prove’ the reasonableness of

the 90 percent currently unseen by the PPP?

Would that knock all the negative arguments

on the head once and for all? Particularly if

the IP were invited to submit information to

the PPP to ensure that it had all the necessary

facts? PPP comfortably has the capacity to

cope with 200+ referrals per annum.

Arguably the profession needs PPP to

succeed and be seen to do so, as it has a

symbolic presence as an embodiment of

collaboration and the profession’s willingness

and ability to respond to concerns – and an

importance in that regard that should not be

lost on those who wish to maintain the present

professional body/peer-led regulation regime

that is under threat from the next big Service

review on possible measures for a new single

regulator, and on which the Government is

due to publish its proposals later this year.

Can the profession afford to see the PPP fail?

A last thought on the PPP – we should not

underestimate the independence it provides in

the opinions given. Pool members are engaged

on a rota basis that is largely automated and

free of manipulation or undue influence

– least of all by the prospective purchaser;

yes, the purchaser pays and submits the

information (though at present the IP can,

and sometimes does, submit information as

well) – but the purchaser doesn’t choose the

reviewer and cannot easily discard or ignore

the opinion provided. As a creditor, wouldn’t

you value that independence?

LEGISLATIVE DEVELOPMENTS

There are of course other regulatory levers

besides the PPP, not least the regulatory

requirements alluded to above (principally

around transparency/disclosure) in Statement

of Insolvency Practice 16 (which sets out what

should be disclosed to all creditors and is a

summary of the transaction, why it was in

creditors’ best interests and the best option

available) and the regulators’ reviews of those

statements – though it should be noted that

not all the Recognised Professional Bodies

(RPBs) have been reviewing all of them – one

opting instead for sample reviews (less than

one in eight).

This and other figures relating to the

operations of the RPBs have been published

recently in the Service’s annual report on IP

regulation. Always a riveting read of course,

it highlights everything from the number of

inspection visits to statistics on complaints

received, and in both cases the actions taken.

It may not contain many startling facts, but

it provides transparency about the levels of

activity in the regulatory arena.

A review of some SIPs has been underway

over the summer, and CICM has contributed

its comments with input from the Technical

Committee, and more recently there have

been some developments with the Breathing

Space proposals for individuals in financial

difficulty. It was a little surprising, perhaps,

that these did not form part of the CIGA relief,

with maybe an accelerated timetable for the

introduction of these new provisions, but at

least they are on course for implementation

in May next year. Draft regulations have been

published outlining how this will work.

Remember that the 60-day breathing space

period, while individuals with problem debts

are receiving advice, will see enforcement

action from creditors halted and interest

frozen. And with redundancies following the

withdrawal of furlough, and some directors

struggling to deal with personal guarantees

on company debts, expect to see the demand

for personal debt solutions rising. No time for

that cigar!

David Kerr FCICM is an insolvency

practitioner with extensive regulatory

experience and a member of the CICM

Technical Committee.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 11


ENFORCEMENT

WELCOME

HOME?

How are CIVEA members helping

local authorities recover from the

COVID-19 pandemic.

AUTHOR – Russell Hamblin-Boone

WITH the Government

encouraging people

back to work and

schools implementing

special measures to

protect children, we are

beginning to take stock of the long-term effects

of the COVID-19 pandemic. Local authorities

that endured post-credit crunch austerity

measures have found themselves with funding

shortfalls. The Institute of Fiscal Studies

estimates that local councils in England will

have to find £2bn to cover both the response

to the coronavirus pandemic and the loss of

income from lockdown.

It is with some relief, therefore, that civil

enforcement visits have been able to resume

from 24 August, in accordance with new

Government guidelines. But it has taken a huge

effort for enforcement agents to be able to

return to work safely.

CIVEA members (who make up over 90

percent of the entire enforcement industry)

voluntarily suspended enforcement visits a

month ahead of the Government’s statutory ban.

In April, we began working on a post-lockdown

support plan and by the beginning of May had

shared our proposals with the Government.

We recognised at an early stage that to

simply restart enforcement visits once the

Government eases restrictions would not be

responsible. Therefore, our plan involved

a policy of reconnection to engage with

customers to understand how they have been

affected by the COVID-19 crisis and respond

as appropriate. CIVEA members sent template

letters to anyone who had missed a payment or

been out of contact. Repayments rates remained

high throughout the lockdown period, so it was

important to understand which people were not

keeping up their debt repayments and why.

NOTICE PERIODS

Individuals were given at least 30 days’ notice

of a visit by an enforcement agent, instead of

the usual 14 days, unless the local authority

had specific requirements. This attempt at early

re-engagement helped to prevent additional

fees being added to the outstanding debt.

In addition to communicating with

customers, we were concerned for our agents

and the public when visits restarted. To

ensure that health and safety procedures were

embedded across the industry, we designed a

bespoke training programme. This included

training on the effective use of protective

equipment and social distancing requirements,

how agents must protect themselves and those

that they encounter in the community. This

was supplemented by refresher training on

supporting vulnerable people and recognising

new features of post-lockdown vulnerability.

Over 10 weeks we have trained almost 1,700

enforcement agents on the new style of

enforcement visits.

In accordance with CIVEA safe working

practices, visits are contactless. Enforcement

agents do not enter residential premises to take

control of goods, unless there are exceptional

circumstances, and it is deemed safe for the

agent and members of the public.

The majority of enforcement payments are

made by telephone before an enforcement

agent is required to visit or after a letter has been

left. When visits are necessary, enforcement

agent practice social distancing, comply with

enhanced hygiene techniques (including

disinfecting their equipment) and are issued

with additional protective equipment. This is

in full compliance with the Government and

Public Health England advice.

The extensive preparations have proved

successful with encouraging reports from our

members about the first weeks of enforcement

visits. Enforcement firms and councils have

had a good response with people resuming

payments. Enforcement agents are reporting

that the procedures are workable and helpful.

People are appreciative that agents are taking

precautions and responding by making

payments.

ESSENTIAL VISITS

Enforcement visits are essential for councils

to be able to provide the right support to their

residents. There are no interest charges and

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 12


ENFORCEMENT

AUTHOR – Russell Hamblin-Boone

A blanket ban on

enforcement visits is a

blunt instrument that

would put more councils

in jeopardy and create

more problems.

the fees are set by the Government. Those who

oppose the resumption of enforcement are

primarily concerned about council tax debt. The

courts have a backlog, so there will be a lag of

months before overdue council tax is enforced.

The priority will be to enforce magistrates’ courts

fines, traffic offences and other penalties. Of

course, councils do not want to pursue people

who can’t pay, but we need enforcement visits,

not least to be able to identify those in need.

According to a BBC survey during lockdown

there were 150 councils at risk of financial

problems. One council reported losing £500m

each month of lockdown in parking charges

alone. A YouGov survey that we commissioned

recently showed that two thirds of the public

The courts have a

backlog, so there

will be a lag of

months before

overdue council

tax is enforced.

The priority will

be to enforce

magistrates’

courts fines, traffic

offences and other

penalties.

are worried about local services being put at

risk if people do not pay their council tax. Over

80 percent think non-payment would get worse

if councils could not use enforcement agents.

A blanket ban on enforcement visits is a blunt

instrument that would put more councils in

jeopardy and create more problems.

These are unusual times and the enforcement

sector has led the way in implementing a plan

that enables councils to recover much-needed

funds safely and responsibly, while at the same

time ensuring the most vulnerable are insulated

from the impact of the pandemic.

Russell Hamblin-Boone is Chief Executive of

the Civil Enforcement Association.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 13


Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 14


Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 15


CREDIT ECOSYSTEM

PICTURE PERFECT

The importance of telling the right credit story.

AUTHOR – Aneesh Varma

I

find myself reflecting more and more at

the moment on the need for stories. In

direct distraction to the statistic-filled

headlines we are greeted with daily,

stories can help us relax and switch off

- some light relief from the heavy world

that surrounds us.

Stories also help us to understand. They are

how we remember disparate facts and figures,

providing context to our lives and to our beliefs.

They are what we consciously or unconsciously

seek out. It’s the likely reason you picked up

this magazine and selected this article - that

intrinsically human quest for a good story.

And every one of us has a different story to

tell. Jobs, relationships, education - our choices

throughout our lives correlate with our future

- and this, in turn, shapes the financial story

we must serve to lenders when it comes to

accessing credit.

Although we don’t do we? Not really. Because

the traditional bureau data relied upon in today’s

credit ecosystem only serves some of us, not all

of us, effectively. With the right technology, and

- crucially - the right data in place, this system

can be upgraded for everyone’s benefit.

CHANGING BEHAVIOUR

This lack of clarity has been exasperated by the

recent seismic changes we’ve seen across the

credit ecosystem over the last six months.

Measures introduced to combat COVID-19 in

March had an understandably dramatic impact

on consumer credit behaviour.

We stopped buying cars (levels of new motor

finance lending extended to UK consumers

plummeted by 94 percent in the first month of

lockdown) and we were prevented from buying

houses (mortgage approvals halved in April and

fell again to just a third of ‘normal’ levels during

May).

Meanwhile, consumers who could, took

significant steps to reduce their existing

borrowing, reducing their exposure to credit

products such as credit cards and personal

loans by £18bn between February and June. We

also know that leading providers of personal

loans, credit cards and retail finance have also

written substantially less new business due to

the pandemic.

While the motor finance market had recovered

relatively quickly since the start of lockdown:

bouncing back to pre-COVID new business

levels as soon as June - providers of other

forms of consumer credit will have to be more

patient. And with shock and unpredictability

comes caution from the consumer. The OECD’s

measure of consumer confidence (a key

The best data

rests with the

consumer

themselves. We

call this firstparty

data and

it is both unique

and powerful in

offering lenders

the most

up-to-date view

of their customer

imaginable.

indicator of borrowing appetite) plummeted

between February and May, reaching levels not

seen since 2008. While confidence since then

shows green shoots of recovery, the figures

suggest that, as UK consumers, we’ll be saving

more when we can and making fewer big-ticket

purchases for the foreseeable future.

FINANCIAL DIFFICULTY

But those of us that can afford to be more

cautious are the lucky ones. Unfortunately, the

impact of COVID-19 on livelihoods is placing

many more of us into sudden and unexpected

financial difficulty. At a then unrealised but now

pivotal moment to have done so, in February

of this year Aire conducted some consumer

research to take the pulse of the consumer

credit market at that time.

Figures showed us that eight in every 10 UK

adults would have been unable to cover essential

monthly spending should they experience a 20

percent reduction in income. Even at that point,

2.4m UK consumers were slipping further into

debt each month, while another 4.1m spent

everything they earned on ‘essentials’.

We don’t need new research to know that

the situation is far worse today. 730,000 fewer

people were on UK payrolls in July compared to

March, while 9.6m had been furloughed as part

of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The challenges of job losses and falling

incomes have already caused millions to seek

support from lenders. UK Finance figures

show that one in six mortgages were subject

to payment holidays in June. Lenders had also

granted 992,400 credit card payment deferrals,

provided 686,500 payment holidays on personal

loans and offered 27m interest-free overdrafts.

The number of unemployed will inevitably

rise as the job retention scheme is phased

out by the end of the month, causing further

difficulties for millions already struggling while

on furlough. The predictions are grim, with the

Bank of England expecting unemployment to

hit 7.5 percent this year in line with other G7

economies.

But lenders have a clear responsibility in this

climate to serve their customers proactively.

They must look for new ways to detect emerging

risks on the consumer’s behalf and must now

focus on early intervention and assistance

rather than waiting for the fog to clear to pick

up the pieces.

BALANCE SHIFT

To do this, lenders must look to the validity of

alternative data sources to help. Gathered not

from the bureaus, or from social media, but

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 16


CREDIT ECOSYSTEM

AUTHOR – Aneesh Varma

from the individual. The best data rests

with the consumer themselves. We call

this first-party data and it is both unique

and powerful in offering lenders the most

up-to-date view of their customer

imaginable. From furlough or redundancy

to an increase in hours due to a flourishing

business, first-party data provides us

with the individual set of circumstances

that contribute to the consumer’s overall

picture of financial health - or difficulty.

Most importantly, it also starts to

shift the power balance, allowing the

individual to contribute to their own story

and to have a say in how lenders perceive

their current circumstances — delivering

the system upgrade the credit ecosystem

so clearly requires.

Because now is the opportunity to focus

on building that picture of the consumer,

based on their own individual story:

how are they doing right now, not three

months or three years ago? How does he

or she view their career; the stability of

that job; their savings? What is his or her

attitude towards their finances? How does

their partner’s income impact their own

financial wellbeing?

Today, due to technology, it is possible

to gather and interpret a wealth of firstparty

information directly from the

consumer - quickly, efficiently and at

scale. This vital context augments the

view of the consumer gained through

historical sources and provides the

validated, holistic view lenders need

to treat customers fairly, understand

those experiencing difficulties, and keep

lending profitably.

In the current climate, we’ve seen

demand from lenders looking for

solutions in customer management grow.

While this need to identify a consumer’s

current affordability and risk of financial

difficulty with new data has always been

significant, it becomes critical in the

current circumstances.

Let’s return now to the importance of

a good story. When it comes to credit,

ultimately this is about translating

the individual story of each consumer

better, quicker and more easily for

lenders, based on their current financial

circumstances. The full story, the holistic

picture, the truth. Now, and in the months

ahead, we owe consumers that fairness

of representation - let’s not keep them

waiting too long.

Aneesh Varma is Founder and CEO, Aire

Aneesh Varma

Today, due to

technology, it is

possible to gather and

interpret a wealth of

first-party information

directly from the

consumer - quickly,

efficiently and at scale.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 17


Growing Pains

An anxious time ahead for the UK agricultural sector.

AUTHOR – Markus Kuger

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 18


EXCLUSIVE REPORT

AUTHOR – Markus Kuger

IN the Middle Ages, the majority

of the working population were

either farmers or farmhands. It was

an industry that sat at the heart of

Medieval economics. It may be a

far throw from today’s society, but

agriculture is arguably still one of the most

important contributors to the UK economy.

The sector is worth £120bn and employs

approximately 4 million people.

For centuries farming has traditionally

been a family enterprise and most agricultural

businesses in the UK today are still classified

as ‘micro’ businesses. Dun & Bradstreet data

shows that these micro businesses make up

95 percent of the active business population

within the agricultural sector.

Many of these businesses are well

established and our data indicates that more

than half have been in operation for 20 years,

with 15.2 percent of business being over a

decade old according to Dun & Bradstreet’s

proprietary data. As seasoned businesses,

many within the sector will have survived and

learnt from significant events and evolution in

the industry such as swine flu, Mad Cow disease

and TB outbreaks, the outcry over genetically

modified crops, and a rise in demand for plantbased

products. In addition to the current

COVID-19 situation, farmers are also facing

changes to subsidies and regulations due to

Brexit.

But the repercussions of Brexit and

COVID-19 mean that farmers and the

agricultural industry are facing turbulent

times, including changes to subsidies and

regulations. The Medieval foundations of

farming are being shaken to the core and

placing pressure on farmers to adapt to an

evolving environment and assess the potential

risk and opportunity for their business as they

move into the next decade.

FINANCIAL HEALTH

The turbulence in the market over the past

few years and especially recently, has resulted

in some casualties. According to Dun &

Bradstreet’s proprietary data, the number of

UK farming businesses has dropped in the last

four years from 100,198 to 95,317. However,

the number of corporate liquidations in the

sector have stayed relatively flat over the past

two years – although this may change as the

full impact of COVID-19 and the UK’s exit from

the EU becomes clearer.

Positively, our data shows that payment

behaviour in the agriculture industry is

higher than average for the UK, with a higher

percentage of payments being made promptly

by the industry. The amount of bills being paid

on time has risen by 5.5 percent to 57.2 percent

between May 2017 to May 2020.

Payment performance for the agricultural

sector in Scotland is the highest across the UK,

60%

40%

20%

0%

Percentage of Business by Age as of May 2020

0

1-5

6-10

Business Age in Years

with just under three quarters (74.7 percent) of

payments made on time. Performance worsens

in areas such as Yorkshire, the South East,

South West and North East, but bills are still

being paid at the average rate.

In contrast, the payment performance

of agricultural business in regions such as

Northern Ireland, Greater London, Greater

Manchester, West Midlands and Wales is below

the national average. The latest data shows

positive trends across the industry including

an improvement in prompt payments,

increasing tangible assets and tangible net

worth and a year-on-year increase in sales

of 19 percent, potentially driven by higher

demand for locally sourced food throughout

the pandemic.

However, the high demand throughout

the pandemic is likely to be short-lived as

the UK will enter a deep recession and we

are predicting UK real GDP will contract by

almost ten percent in 2020. This will have an

effect on household incomes and the longterm

demand for food is expected to decrease.

The rising number of failing businesses is also

concerning given the economic importance of

the sector and debt levels steadily increased

since 2017 with profits decreasing by a third (36

percent) over the same period.

Brexit and COVID-19 are only adding to the

challenges faced and the industry faces yet

more turbulent time and are going to have to

be even more astute in their financial decisions

going forward in order to survive the pending

recession and sluggish economic environment.

THE IMPACT OF BREXIT

The uncertainty of the UK’s exit from the EU

and potential end of free trade across Europe is

weighing heavily on the agricultural industry

with decisions still pending on subsidies, trade

arrangements and labour mobility.

11-20

20+

With one eye on

the future, the New

Trade and Agriculture

Commission recently

announced a set of new

trade policies to better

identify and open up

opportunities for UK

farmers, especially for

SMEs.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 19

continues on page 20 >


EXCLUSIVE REPORT

AUTHOR – Markus Kuger

First, agricultural exports to Europe have doubled over

the decade to £22bn making it the country’s fourth largest

exporting sector. Any change to export arrangements

could have a significant impact on the financial health

of farming businesses. For example, one third of British

lamb is currently sold to the EU. Should UK-EU trade be

conducted under World Trade Organization rules from 1

January 2021 on, high tariffs and quotas would weigh on

the competitiveness of UK farmers (but would also shield

the country from some imports).

Second, the UK’s agricultural industry relies on

international employees to help bolster the seasonal

workforce. This year it’s estimated that the industry will

need to find 70,000 additional seasonal workers to meet

demands.

For instance, Bulgarian employees were flown in at

the beginning of lockdown to help work on UK farms

and prevent a food shortage. If access to this type of

temporary labour resource was no longer available, it

would be harder for farmers to meet demands.

With one eye on the future, the New Trade and

Agriculture Commission recently announced a set

of new trade policies to better identify and open up

opportunities for UK farmers, especially for SMEs.

THE IMPACT OF COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has also had an impact on the

agriculture industry. Stockpiling in supermarkets caused

the demand for farming and food manufacturers to

skyrocket. However, some areas of agriculture have taken

a blow. Dairy farmers, for instance, have seen a decrease

in demands due to the closure of restaurants and cafes

who would usually be a big source of income for them.

Worryingly, recent developments in the hospitality

sector do not bode well for the agricultural sector.

Several casual dining chains including Café Rouge, Zizzi,

Bella Italia and Ask, either went into administration,

have announced outlet closures or are seeking buyers

as footfall is still significantly down despite the gradual

easing of lockdown measures. Casual dining chain Prezzo

(which had recorded a pre-tax loss of almost GBP30m

in 2018) had only opened 35 of its 180 restaurants until

mid-July as demand was too low to justify opening more

outlets. With social distancing measures likely to stay in

place for the foreseeable future, pressure on the sector

will remain elevated during 2020-21 with knock-on

effects for British farmers.

As we look ahead to the end of lockdown, the outlook

for the agriculture industry is uncertain. A recent rural

report found 80 percent of respondents said they expect

profits to fall in 2020, with more than a third (35 percent)

stating the disruption would be significant.

It’s no doubt an anxious time for many. But if we

look back once more to the agriculture of the Middle

Ages, farmers living with fewer resources overcame and

survived widespread disruption such as epidemics and

revolts. With more data and knowledge at their fingertips

to identify risk and opportunities, the future is not all

bleak for the farming industry and it’s likely that most

businesses will weather the storm.

60%

40%

20%

0%

Prompt Payments on Average

by the Agriculture Industry

May

2017

May

2018

May

2019

May

2020

It’s no doubt an anxious time for many.

But if we look back once more to the

agriculture of the Middle Ages, farmers

living with fewer resources overcame

and survived widespread disruption

such as epidemics and revolts.

Markus Kuger is Chief Economist, Dun & Bradstreet.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 20


INTERVIEW

LEGALLY

SPEAKING

Sean Feast FCICM talks to Karen Savage

about litigation, mathematics and the

dream of becoming a buyer for Gucci.

KAREN Savage says she went

into Law because she was great

at English and mediocre at

maths: “My father worked in

finance and was always very

disappointed that neither my

sister nor I inherited his gift for numbers.”

Born in Steyning, West Sussex to an English

mother and an Italian father, Karen remembers

growing up in a house that was nicely chaotic:

“Both parents were very entrepreneurial, my

mother ran her own business while my father

worked for Bernie Ecclestone, the motor racing

chief. This meant he worked very long days and

nights and during his holidays as part of that

team. I may not have inherited my father’s gift

for numbers, but I did inherit my parents work

ethic and my father’s love of high-performance

cars. Though having children meant my cars

became more sensible over the years!”

At a local Grammar School, Karen was among

the last of her cohort to take ‘O’ Levels before

progressing to ‘A’ Levels and the possibility

of university. Careers’ advice at that time had

been virtually non-existent (“I can’t recall if

they had any at all,” she laughs), although Karen

fancied herself working in advertising or PR: “I

always used to love Coca Cola advertisements

at Christmas and was fascinated by the concept

of customer recognition, creating brand loyalty

and customer ease of purchase.

As it was, Karen opted for a different path:

“One of my ‘A’ Levels was Law and whilst taking

a year off after 6th form to travel and consider

university I saw an advertisement for a job as a

litigation assistant at Winchester City Council.

It was a role that included studying for an ILEX

(Institute of Legal Executives) qualification

which meant I could earn and learn at the same

time. I loved that idea so applied.”

LEGAL AFFAIRS

The job gave Karen early exposure to a broad

range of legal affairs, from drafting and serving

Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) on centuries’

old Oaks on high valued estates through to

Forfeiture Proceedings, Insurance Claims

against the Council, Local Authority Right-to-

Buy schemes and commercial debt recovery.

It was the work she did specifically in debt

recovery that she enjoyed most and decided

to make her career. When the Bournemouthbased

legal practice Lester Aldridge was hiring

for a Litigation Assistant in their Commercial

Team, she jumped at the chance: “This was

back in 1992, and the role also included ILEX

training as part of the package,” she recalls. “I

really enjoyed working in private practice in a

full-service law firm and gained all my litigation

and insolvency experience in my early years at

the firm.”

After finishing the ILEX qualification (in

1996) Karen’s ambition grew and she decided

she would like to become an Equity Partner

(receiving an equity stake in the firm’s profits):

“In most large law firms the path to partnership

is about winning work, managing client

relationships and leading high-performing

teams delivering the legal services. It can take

typically six years or so after qualification to

achieve, depending on the firm. To progress, I

recognised that I had to have the equivalent of

a law degree.”

This presented Karen with something of a

challenge. To convert the ILEX Qualification

to a degree she had to attend Bournemouth

University for three hours (09-00 - 12-00) daily.

The Department Head at Lester Aldridge said it

just wasn’t possible to study for a degree whilst

also working full time and do either well. At

that time, she had been tasked by the firm to

put together a business plan for building and

developing a commercial debt proposition for

target clients. They didn’t reckon on Karen’s

passion: “Nothing is likely to inspire me more

than telling me I can’t do something,” she jokes.

As it was, she persuaded them she could

do both, working from 07:00 until 09:00 in

the morning, before disappearing for three

hours at University, and then returning and

working through to 19:00. It was a gruelling

schedule, but one in which she was determined

to succeed. And she did, passing with a

commendation and elevated immediately

to salaried Partner status at Lester Aldridge.

Later in the same year Karen embarked on her

Masters and during that same period won one of

the largest commercial debt recovery contracts

in the UK worth more than £1m per a year to

the firm.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 21

continues on page 20 >


INTERVIEW

AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCICM

As a result of that significant client win,

at the age of 26, Karen fulfilled her ambition

of becoming an Equity Partner the following

year. “Whether you make it or not as an

equity partner is all driven by the volume

of income you bring into the business and

winning a huge debt recovery contract worth

more than £1 million a year was (then) the

largest client win for the firm.

“This was a pivotal moment in my career

as Lester Aldridge was a well-known and

respected regional firm but at that time was

dealing mainly with local client. However,

the commercial debt recovery team became a

major player dealing with national blue-chip

clients across the UK and really punching

above its weight.”

Karen spent 20 years at Lester Aldridge

during which time she took over

responsibility for the Banking and Finance

Team, and latterly all Litigation Teams at

the firm. Karen was approached on several

occasions to join national law firms but

declined: “I started my family quite late in

life, and the timing was never quite right to

make a move,” she says.

However, when one of those suitors,

Shoosmiths, approached her for a second

time, she decided to go: “A large part of my

career had been at Lester Aldridge but it

felt the time was right to make the move.

Shoosmiths was looking to build and grow

its B2B recoveries team and it was an exciting

opportunity. Joining a national law firm

like Shoosmiths as an Equity Partner with

its fantastic client base was too good an

opportunity to turn down.”

SENSE OF CHANGE

Karen left Lester Aldridge with Paula Swain,

Chris Moody and others (see interview Credit

Management, April 2020) and the rest is

history: “I thoroughly enjoyed my time at

Shoosmiths, and it remains the best firm I

have worked in,” she adds.

During her time at Shoosmiths, Karen

introduced Azzurro Associates as a new

client, working closely with the CEO, Andrew

Birkwood. In 2019 Andrew asked Karen to

join him, both as Chief Operating Officer of

the commercial debt management solutions

provider but also – with a dual role as Chief

Operating Officer of Azzurro Associates but

also tasked with setting up and building a law

firm, Azzurro Law.

Joining Azzurro, in many ways, was Karen’s

dream job: “It is a business focused purely

in the commercial debt space which I love,

and we are bringing unique and innovative

products to the market.

“I am in a sector that I know well and

drawing on all the experience gained in law

firms over the years. I am helping Andrew

and the team here build and develop the

business. I feel extremely fortunate at this

stage in my career to work with a small team of

ambitious, passionate and driven colleagues

who are all committed to delivering the very

highest standards of customer service and

excellence.”

Karen is certainly busy, supporting Andrew

with new business origination at Azzurro

Associates as well as setting the litigation

and collection strategies for the portfolios

they buy. This includes managing the 16 DCA

and law firms on their panel and managing

external client and partner relationships:

“After 28 years in recoveries, I still get a buzz

around collecting money,” she says, “and

wanting to do a good job for the client.”

IMPRESSIVE PROGRESS

Karen has also built Azzurro Law, based at

Southampton Parkway, and is pleased with

progress so far. The Solicitors Regulation

Authority (SRA) approved the company’s

Alternative Business Structure (ABS) license

in June. Azzurro Associates and Azzurro Law

are owned by a $41 billion dollar Fund, and

Karen really enjoys the challenge of working

in the fast paced investment world: “A law

firm structure is very different, as it has

many owners in its equity partners,” she says.

“At Azzurro the flexibility, speed of decision

making, and ideas implementation is unlike

anything I’ve experienced in my career.”

Importantly, Karen stresses, the work

that Azzurro Law performs is not limited to

Azzurro Associates’ own portfolios. It also

actively seeks and works for client’s needing

commercial debt recovery services. Azzurro

Law has two distinct teams, one team that

services the Azzurro Associates portfolios,

and the other that works directly for Azzurro

Law’s Commercial Clients.

Litigation, while a strategy that drifts

in and out of fashion in consumer circles,

prompted largely by the whims of politicians

and the media, has remained comparatively

steadfast in B2B. As Karen says, while it

remains an essential part of an overall debt

recovery strategy, it is still important only to

litigate those cases if it is the right thing to

do.

“Azzurro Law specialises in B2B recoveries

and we have been litigating throughout

COVID-19, on the right cases,” she adds,

“and although enforcement was paused

for several months, that has not prevented

us from litigating cases in the appropriate

circumstances.”

She does say, however, that lines are

becoming increasingly blurred between

‘commercial’ and ‘consumer’ debt, especially

when it comes to dealing with smaller

businesses: “Vulnerability has always been

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 22


INTERVIEW

AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCICM

be but this is uncharted waters for us all. As the

furlough scheme ends, and Government support

falls away, we will no doubt find ourselves

working closely with customers through their

difficulties and finding the right solutions for

all involved. Communication has always been

important, but it will be more important than

ever in the future.”

PROUD ASSOCIATION

As regards the CICM, Karen is proud of her

association with the Institute and is an active

supporter of its training and qualifications.

She says the CICM is a tremendous source

of learning and knowledge: “In Azzurro Law

we recruit and mold people in the way we

want them to be and that means supporting

them through training and exams with ILEX

(now CILEX) and the CICM,” she continues.

“A team invariably performs well if they feel

invested in, and I always like to promote from

within.”

This passion for learning extends to other

paths of thinking, and in particular what advice

she would give to her younger self if starting

out again today. Actually, as it transpires, it’s not

a million miles away from what she ended up

doing anyway. University, she says, is not always

the right answer: “Over the years I have seen

many intellectually bright trainee lawyers who

can advise clients on the letter of the law, but

who struggle with providing concise commercial

advice tailored to the client’s circumstances.

Sometimes getting practical experience from an

early age is an advantage.”

While building the team is a full-time job,

and innovation remains her passion, Karen still

finds time for a few outdoor pursuits, including

Paddle Boarding and Kayaking – when the

beaches in her hometown of Poole aren’t overrun

with day-trippers. She also likes to indulge

in her other passions of interior design, travel

and shopping. “Who knows,” she says, “if I

started out all over again, I could have been a

buyer for Gucci.” Let’s hope her maths would

have been up to it.

an issue and continues to be,” she explains.

“Our clients are of course concerned about

their reputational risk and when collecting

from a sole trader or small business we have to

be aware of their particular circumstances and

exercise forbearance when we can. The days

of legal firms sending out blanket winding up

petitions for anything over £750 just to show

how tough they were has long since gone.”

Of the future, there is plenty of uncertainty,

notably around customers’ ability to pay: “It is

a business environment we have never been in

before, so it is difficult to predict the outcome,”

Karen continues.

“During the credit crunch, it was in many ways

easier to understand what impact there would

“It is a business focused purely

in the commercial debt space

which I love, and we are bringing

unique and innovative products

to the market.’’

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 23


COUNTRY FOCUS

Poland is a perfect

example of time

influencing political

change

Mind your Language

PRESENT day Poland is known

for a number of things, not least

of which is its food, the opening

days of World War II, and where

Lech Walesa, and his trade union

Solidarity, opened fissures in the

Communist Bloc that partly led to the downfall

of the Soviet Union.

But look further back in time and it becomes

eminently clear that Poland in its current form

is a recent construct; that its history is long and

reaches back to the Iron Age.

Poland is a perfect example of time influencing

political change. At its zenith in the late 16th

century Poland was one of the largest European

powers, but it ceased to exist after 1795 following

invasions and a carving up of its territory by the

Russians in the east, the Prussians to the west

and the Habsburgs in the south. The short-lived

Second Polish Republic established after World

War I ceased to exist in 1939 and come ‘liberation’

in 1945 the Soviet Union used Poland as a buffer

satellite state.

It wasn’t until 1989 that the Third Polish

Republic came into existence and Poland became

truly independent. The last 31 years have seen

radical change in Poland, especially so since its

accession to the European Union in 2004. And

despite the politicking in recent months with

regard to the presidential election where the

incumbent Andrzej Duda won after a second

round of voting, Poland is stable.

POLAND BY NUMBERS

While a country – any country – is more than its

numbers, basic geographic and demographic

statistics help to set the scene.

Geographically, Poland is set deep in the heart

of Europe. With a landmass of 312,685 km2, it’s

larger than the UK with just 242,495 km2 and is

ranked sixth in Europe behind France, Spain,

Sweden, Germany and Finland. It’s 38.1m people

put Poland in fifth place in the EU’s population

table, just four places behind Germany’s 80.4m.

As a comparator, the UK has around 66.6m

inhabitants. Poland is highly urbanised with

some 60 percent living in towns and cities. That

said, Polish cities aren’t huge by UK standards.

The capital Warsaw tops the list with some

1.79m residents. It is followed by Krakow with

a population of 779,115, Lodz with 679,941 and

Wroclaw with 642,896. Tenth in the list is Bialystok

with ‘just’ 297,554 inhabitants. To make the

‘Poland

stands out as a

European growth

champion. With

an uninterrupted

pace of high

growth averaging

4.2 percent per

annum between

1992-2019'

point, Sheffield is the UK’s 10th largest city with

706,000 while London is first with around 9.3m.

Unlike a number of other European countries,

Poland has a strong national identity with an

equally strong Polish diaspora spread around the

world. According to the 2011 census, just under

97 percent of the population considers itself

Polish. There’s also a multitude of ethnicities and

cultural subdivisions that include Jews, Tatars,

Armenians, Greeks, Germans and Vietnamese.

ECONOMIC POWER

A graph citing World Bank data, but published

by Trading Economics, illustrates just how the

Polish economy has come on since accession

to the European Union. Between 1996 and 2004

its GDP hovered between $140-200bn. But the

following five years saw growth rise almost

exponentially to $533bn (2008) before dropping

back – following the global financial crisis – to

$439bn (2009). Since 2011, however, GDP has

fluctuated between $528bn and $587bn.

Growth has been phenomenal and as

Euronews noted: ‘Poland stands out as a European

growth champion. With an uninterrupted pace

of high growth averaging 4.2 percent per annum

between 1992-2019, Poland is steadily catching

up with Western Europe and has become the

seventh largest economy in the EU.’

It appears that Poland’s position is a result of a

large domestic market, strong economic reform

and an EU-centric set of policies. Beyond that is

an entrepreneurial landscape full of SMEs and a

strong competitive advantage over its European

neighbours. It should be noted at this point that

Poland is not only part of the EU’s external border

but is also a member of the free-movement

Schengen Area, the UN and NATO, the OECD, the

Three Seas Initiative, the Visegrad Group and the

G20.

KEY SECTORS

According to a June 2019 China-CEE Institute

briefing, agriculture is one of the biggest

sectors in the Polish economy which employs

around 12.7 percent of the workforce, some

1.46m workers. But big doesn’t necessarily mean

financially powerful – Eurostat data indicates

that agriculture, forestry and fisheries (in

2018) created just 2.4 percent of Polish GDP. It

should be said that agriculture is predominantly

privately owned in the form of small farms up

to five hectares. Only seven percent of privately-

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 24


COUNTRY FOCUS

AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein

owned farms are greater than 15 hectares in size.

Next comes energy, trade and manufacturing. Last

year (2019) Poland was the world’s 9th largest producer of

coal – some 57 megatons of brown coal and 78 megatons

of hard coal. While most is used domestically, renewable

energy is becoming ever more important as solar, wind

and hydroelectric power have each recorded significant

growth in recent years.

Beyond energy, comes trade and manufacturing,

especially in the fields of automotive, food, metallurgy,

machinery and electromechanical industry, transport,

textile and clothing. Collectively these sectors employ

over 31 percent – 5.25m – of all employees in Poland.

While mining and mineral processing employs

82,700 workers, automotive production has around

130,000 workers and produces around 800,000 to 900,000

light vehicles a year. It accounts for 11 percent of total

industrial output and about 4 percent of the country’s

GDP. The automotive sector in Poland, in particular,

prospered after the country became part of the European

Union; its annual exports are valued at over €15.7bn or 16

percent of the country’s total exports.

But in common with many developed countries,

the biggest part of Polish economy is its service sector

which employs around 9.46m. Apart from tourism (an

understated but growing part of the economy) – this

large group includes civil servants, emergency services,

educationalists and the traditional service businesses

such as entertainment and hospitality. It surprises many

that Poland apparently sees more than 19m tourists, a

number – coronavirus aside – which seems to rise every

year.

MARKET OPPORTUNITIES

A natural question to ask is what does Poland actually

import – where are the market opportunities?

Data published and analysed by World’s Top Exports

(which cites raw data from the US Central Intelligence

Agency, the IMF and International Trade Centre), the

top ten product groups in Poland’s import purchases

during 2019 were, in order: machinery including

computers: US$33.3bn (12.7 percent of total imports);

electrical machinery, equipment: $32.3bn (12.3 percent);

vehicles: $26.2bn (10 percent); mineral fuels including

oil: $20bn (7.6 percent); plastics and plastic articles:

$14.9bn (5.7 percent); iron and steel: $9.1bn (3.5 percent);

pharmaceuticals: $7.5bn (2.9 percent); optical, technical,

medical apparatus: $6.2bn (2.4 percent); articles of iron

or steel: $6bn (2.3 percent), and paper and paper items:

$5bn (1.9 percent).

These imports accounted for over 61 percent of

everything that the country bought from overseas

sources. The data shows that growth categories were

electrical machinery and equipment which rose by five

percent from 2018 to 2019; optical, technical and medical

apparatus (up by 4.3 percent) and machinery including

computers (up 0.6 percent).

Masuria, Poland.

According to a June 2019 China-CEE

Institute briefing, agriculture is one of the

biggest sectors in the Polish economy

which employs around 12.7 percent of the

workforce, some 1.46m workers.

SETTING UP SHOP

As with the UK, there are a number of forms of

commercial enterprise in Poland that range from the sole

trader, partnerships and corporations. There is also the

option for branch offices and representative offices. In

summary, a sole tradership carries personal liability and

requires no initial capital. The business must be registered

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 25

continues on page 26 >


COUNTRY FOCUS

AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein

with Central Economic Activity Register and

Information and the business is exempted

from compulsory social insurance for the

first six months of operation.

A limited partnership requires two or

more natural or legal persons and requires

no share capital. One partner carries

unlimited liability while the other partner(s)

are liable to their limited liability level and

what was owed on their joining. A limited

joint stock partnership is similar except that

it requires minimum capital of PLN 50,000

– general partners carry unlimited liability

while shareholders are not liable beyond

their holding unless their name is part of the

business identity.

A limited liability company is just that and

requires ownership by one or more natural

or legal persons who cover a minimum

share capital of PLN 5,000. Management can

be held liable for debts that belong to the

company. A simple joint stock company is

similar in liability but is designed for startups

and requires just PLN 1 share capital;

liquidation is simple. At the other end of the

scale is joint stock company for large scale

operations. Minimum share capital is PLN

100,000 and management are not liable for

company obligations.

Under Polish law, a branch office has a

separate identity to the entrepreneur and

a foreign owner can carry out the business

in Poland that it carries out elsewhere.

Operation requires entry into the Register of

Entrepreneurs of the National Court Register

with submission of appropriate translated

documents. A representative office is a

subordinate entity of the entrepreneur

and needs to on the Register of Foreign

Entrepreneurs’ Agencies.

There are also rules relating to the

acquisition of real estate and permits are

required for operating in certain sectors

such as alcohol, carriage of goods, iron and

steel, veterinary medicine, gaseous fuels.

Old Town Wroclaw, Poland.

LABOUR CODE

As for employees, the main source of

governance is to be found in the Polish

Labour Code and legislation. In essence,

the code protects those in employment

contracts and makes provision for special

groups (such as pregnant workers who

cannot be laid off, work overtime, at night

without consent, and those within four

years of retirement age). Contracts have to

be written with detail on provisions – fines

await rule-breaking employers.

The code generally allows a maximum

eight-hour day with a 40-hour working week

and a minimum 11 hours rest in any 24-hour

period. Statutory holiday is set at 26 working

days a year (20 days for those with less than

10 years’ service). Firms with 50 or more

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 26


COUNTRY FOCUS

AUTHOR – Adam Bernstein

workers must inform workers of their

right to form a worker’s council which

must be consulted on key business

matters.

Discrimination is banned on a

similar basis to the UK. However,

sexual harassment is covered under

discrimination law. The compensation

that can be awarded starts at a minimum

of the statutory minimum wage (PLN

2600).

Maternity leave varies according to

the number of children a woman bears –

from 20 weeks for one child to 37 weeks

if five or more are born. Paternity leave

is set at two weeks until the child is two

years old.

Poland has its own version of the

transfer of undertakings legislation and

so employees transfer on a business sale;

they cannot be dismissed as a result of

the sale. That said, an employer can

terminate for another reason and then

attempt to re-employ on new terms.

Termination notice varies according

to length of service – two weeks for less

than six months service; one month for

six months or more of service; three

months for three or more years of service.

TAXATION CHALLENGES

Corporate Income Tax (CIT) applies to

limited liability companies and joint

stock companies at a rate of 19 percent.

However, a lower rate of nine percent

applies to non-capital revenues and

revenues generated in the tax year below

the Polish equivalent of €2m. For limited

partnerships, Personal Income Tax (PIT),

not CIT, applies.

The Polish VAT is harmonised with

that of the EU. Nevertheless, there are

four tax rates – a basic 23 percent for

the majority of goods and services;

eight percent for specific goods and

services (such as goods related to health

protection, groceries and hotel services);

five percent for some farm produce;

and zero for (in the main) export and

intra-Community supply of goods and

international transport services.

But as with the UK, Polish VAT is

not simple and there is an exemption:

‘Small entrepreneurs’ are exempted if

ex-VAT sales do not exceed PLN 200,000

in the previous tax year – pro rata if they

start business part way through the tax

year. Exemptions do not apply to goods

made of precious metals, goods subject

to excise tax (except for electricity,

tobacco products and passenger cars),

construction sites, new means of

transport, legal or consultancy services.

Every natural person must pay PIT.

However, the Polish system allows some

taxpayers to choose how. Under general

rules, income is taxed at 17 percent and

32 percent above incomes of PLN 85,528;

there’s the option of a flat rate of 19

percent for those running businesses as

a sole trader or partnership; a lump sum

(depending on activity); or via tax card

from the tax office. Dividends are taxed

at 19 percent.

There are three notable tax reliefs

for individuals – Innovation Box which

uses a 5 percent rate on income derived

from intellectual property rights related

to taxpayer activity; R&D relief which

allows the deduction of eligible costs;

and an exemption for those under 26

years from paying tax on income below

PLN 85,528.

IN SUMMARY

Poland is a great place to do business,

but language difficulties may need

overcoming. The gov.pl website – search

for ‘Entrepreneur’s Matters’ – is helpful in

signposting the way on most regulatory

matters, but users will come across

‘English’ webpages that are written in

Polish; a good translator is, in other

words, almost essential.

Adam Bernstein is a freelance

business writer.

Poland is bordered by the

Baltic Sea, Lithuania, and

Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast to

the north, Belarus and Ukraine

to the east, Slovakia and the

Czech Republic to the south, and

Germany to the west.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 27


www.tcmgroup.com

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Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 28


CAREERS ADVICE

OPEN ALL HOURS?

What’s in store for our world of work over the

next few months?

AUTHOR – Karen Young

THERE has been much in the

news recently about offices

reopening and what our world

of work is shaping up to look

like as the situation with the

pandemic continues to evolve.

The pace of change remains rapid across

industries not least in credit management, so

in a bid to get a more concrete picture of where

the industry is heading over the next few

months, we reached out to credit professionals

to find out what the major trends are and what

we can expect to see unfold.

1. SKILLS SHORTAGES ARE STILL RIFE

A lack of access to the right skills is not a

new phenomenon across credit and the

wider finance industry and according to our

findings, they look set to remain for the near

future. About a third (35 percent) of employers

in credit say they have all the skills they

need in their team to meet organisational

objectives. The top specialist skills they need

are largely unchanged and include finance

and operations.

However, perhaps more than ever employers

are seeking credit professionals with the right

balance of specialist skills and soft skills. The

ability to adopt change came out as the top soft

skill employers in the industry look for which

is unsurprising considering the events of this

year. Change is inevitable, and this year has

shown that we need to be equipped for this

when it happens at pace.

Regardless of whether you are looking for

a new job, take the time to reflect on how we

have adapted in recent months. Consider how

to take these lessons forward to make your

skillset as desirable as it can be.

2. HIRING ON THE RISE

Earlier on in the year, hiring activity had

obviously slowed down on a large scale as

employers dealt with the immediate impacts

of the pandemic. However, now roughly six

months on from lockdown, hiring intentions

are on the rise with a fifth (20 percent) of

employers in credit saying they are currently

recruiting, compared to 11 percent surveyed

in May.

Considering this pick-up, competition for

some of the more in-demand skills will be

even more acute than they were before, so

if you are looking for a job currently I would

advise carefully tailoring your CV to highlight

the skills that are needed currently in the

industry. Even if you aren’t looking for a new

role, thinking long-term about the direction

you might need to upskill in will help you keep

up with the direction of the profession.

3. VIEWS DIFFER ON THE RETURN TO

THE WORKPLACE

As lockdown restrictions ease, workplaces

are gradually reopening albeit with reduced

capacity and social distancing measures in

place. Only time will tell what the typical work

setup will be in a few months’ time, but we

do know that there is a strong preference for

hybrid working – whereby employees work

part in the office and part remotely. Over half

(52 percent) of employers expect this to be the

case in the next six months, and 46 percent of

employees also say this is their preferred way

of working.

While it’s highly unlikely that the world

of work will return to the way it was before

the pandemic, there are signs that the credit

profession is returning to some semblance of

normal and taking steps to gear up for the next

few months.

As well as gearing up for the next few

months, I also think this is an opportunity to

reflect on our triumphs and indeed shortfalls

over the summer and apply the lessons we’ve

learned in order to be in the best position to

move forward in the next few months.

Karen Young is the Director of Hays

Accountancy & Finance

2m

As lockdown restrictions ease, workplaces are gradually

reopening albeit with reduced capacity and social distancing

measures in place. Only time will tell what the typical work

setup will be in a few months’ time.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 29


INTERNATIONAL

TRADE

Monthly round-up of the latest stories

in global trade by Andrea Kirkby.

In line for online boozing

ONLY those living under a rock could have

failed to notice that the world of online

is beating physical retail into a pulp, with

Amazon leading the charge.

India is a case in point. It recently

saw Amazon start online alcohol deliveries

in the country (specifically to West Bengal’s

population of 90m). But now Walmart’s

e-commerce platform Flipkart has joined

the party, linking up with HipBar, an online

presence backed by spirits giant Diageo, to

deliver alcohol in two Indian states.

These behemoths clearly want to tap into

an alcohol market that is worth $27.2bn.

According to Reuters, ‘Flipkart customers

will be able to place orders for their

favourite tipple, which HipBar will then

deliver after collecting products from retail

outlets, according to a person with direct

knowledge of the matter.’ Online alcohol

won’t ever be a national proposition for

India since some states, such as Gujarat,

ban alcohol retail. Even so, if you’re involved

in alcohol or online delivery systems, now

is the time to expand your horizons to

the sub-continent as Indian consumers

are increasingly buying everything from

groceries to electronics online.

Hair today but hopefully

not gone tomorrow

MEN are shaving less and so producers of male

grooming products have had to look elsewhere

for profit; it appears that haircare is the sector to,

excuse the pun, grow.

According to management consultancy

McKinsey, haircare is huge with the entire global

beauty sector generating an estimated $500bn

a year in sales. Grand View Research thinks

that the haircare sector is growing around three

percent a year and it’s helped by influencers

and celebrities. But this isn’t just a western

phenomenon – the rapid growth of the middle

class in emerging markets, particularly in Asia,

has led to a boom in personal grooming and

beauty items.

A study by market research group Mintel in

November 2018 suggests that large personal-care

companies are generally becoming more adept at

understanding how the attitudes of consumers

in emerging markets differ from those in the rest

of the world and adjusting their products to take

account of this. Any exporter that serves this

sector, who is willing to understand the nuances

of local markets and adapt products accordingly,

could do rather well especially if they target

premium products which can genuinely help

combat hair loss.

TURKEY TO ISSUE MEDITERRANEAN EXPLORATION LICENCES

THIS could be good news or bad

news depending on which side of the

fence you sit. Turkey is to issue gas

exploration and drilling licences in

the eastern Mediterranean as it seeks

greater energy independence.

While this will be good news to

those that supply the exploration

sector, anyone trading with both

Greece and Turkey – overtly – could

be caught up in rising tensions.

Both nations are NATO allies, but

they disagree about overlapping

claims on resources in the eastern

Mediterranean. Tread carefully and

be alert to political sensitivities when

talking to clients in either of the two

nations.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 30


River deep dam high

LOOK at the Earth from above and you’d

assume that with so much water it’s

inconceivable that some go thirsty. But

with just one percent of water potable

and accessible it’s easy to see where that

conflict can arise.

Take Ethiopia, as highlighted by the

Wall Street Journal. Its Prime Minister

has said that negotiations with Egypt

and Sudan were progressing well and

there could soon be an agreement over

the country’s hydroelectric dam on one

of the Nile River’s tributaries following

a decade-long dispute over river

management. According to the publication,

‘the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

was announced in 2011 and has raised

tensions with Sudan and Egypt since,

even prompting threats of war. Ethiopia

maintains that the $4.8bn dam, located

on the Blue Nile, will provide electricity

to rural areas of the country, but Egypt

sees the project as a “potential existential

threat” that could siphon off water crucial

to its 100 million people.’

Very simply, growing populations

and climate change will make water

management an increasingly urgent

priority in many areas. If you’ve the

expertise, make hay while the sun shines.

US tariffs as erratic

as the President

PRESIDENT Trump could have four more

months in office or another four years and

four months left if he wins a second term.

Even so, while some view his actions as

erratic, others such as the Scotch whisky

industry are just bothered that the UK

Government seems slow in fighting tariffs

that he has imposed. Gin and beer have

escaped his ire but Scotch now has a 25

percent levy placed on its single malt. And

clothing manufacturers have also been

caught in the crossfire between Brussels

and Washington.

The point to note is that while Trump is

unpredictable, if COVID-19 has illustrated

anything, it’s that the world is becoming

more protectionist as Governments guard

domestic job and industries in light of

rising unemployment. And again, Trump

has illustrated this through an offer of tax

credits to US firms that re-shore factories

out of China back to the US.

Meating new product demands

ACCORDING to the UN Food and Agriculture

Organisation, global meat production fell in

2019 and may well fall further in 2020. Why?

People are dining out less and so are eating

less meat. The question is, could this be the

thin end of the wedge?

With rising interest in vegetarianism

and veganism, meat production and

consumption may well have seen its peak.

But there is more to the story since not all

SO, the UK has left the EU. But could other

EU member states follow if the UK doesn’t

falter post-Brexit? Well, according to a poll

commissioned by Euronews, Italy could

be next to consider exiting the European

Union if Brexit proves to be beneficial to

Britain.

Data from a Redfield and Wilton

Strategies survey for Euronews found that

nearly half of Italians questioned would

be likely to support their country leaving

the EU if the UK and its economy were

regarded to be in good health five years

from now.

As for France and Spain, both were a

middling risk for an EU departure while

Germany was the least likely of the big

four member states to consider leaving the

Union.The poll sought the opinion of 1,500

people in each of the big four countries

(6,000 people in total) in mid-July, and

EXIT STAGE LEFT?

meat is considered the same by consumers.

Demand for beef is down but chicken is up

with greater market share.

Food producers and farmers may want

to consider what they invest in so that

they produce and export more of what the

world is craving – poultry and veggie foods.

Fundamentally, if red meat is key to your

existence, plan for change; in time you could

find your market shrink and over supply.

comes hot on the heels of the formation of

a new anti-EU party in Italy.

In percentage terms, 45 percent of

Italians would seek to leave, 38 percent of

French, 37 percent of Spanish and just 30

percent of Germans. It’s notable that the

survey found that a good number of those

polled in France (45 percent) and Italy (43

percent) all agreed that that the UK would

prosper outside of the bloc. In contrast,

just 35 percent of Spaniards believed

Brexit would ultimately be a success for

the UK, while only 31 percent of Germans

agreed to some extent.

What does this mean for exporters?

Keep a watching brief on your European

markets and customer base. While

statistics can be used to prove almost

anything, never say never, for just over

four years ago we were firmly inside

Europe.

Japan trade deal

REUTERS has reported that, finally, Britain

and Japan have agreed core elements of a

post-Brexit bilateral trade deal which the

two hope to seal in principle soon.

This story is short however, precisely

because the detail is light…apart from

a Government comment that ‘we have

reached consensus on the major elements

of a deal, including ambitious provisions

in areas like digital, data and financial

services that go significantly beyond the

EU-Japan deal.’

If we take Wikipedia’s entry on the

subject, that’s now 54 countries down and

141 still to negotiate with. Worryingly, of

those deals signed, signatories include

the Faroe Islands, Lebanon, the Palestine

Authority and Kosovo. Big hitters are

missing.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 31


Introducing your Executive

Board of Trustees

The new team has combined experience spanning

almost two centuries.

AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCICM

ELECTIONS to the CICM

Executive Board have been

completed and new Officer

appointments confirmed:

Debbie Nolan FCICM(Grad)

has been appointed

Chair; Phil Rice FCICM appointed

Vice Chair; and Glen Bullivant FCICM

remains as Treasurer. In addition,

other elected Executive Board Trustees

are Larry Coltman FCICM, Victoria

Herd FCICM(Grad) and Phil Holbrough

MCICM.

Debbie is the UK CEO of global

financial solutions company, Arvato.

She has been a graduate member of the

CICM for over 25 years and has worked in

the credit industry for more than 30 years

in a number of different roles for high

profile organisations, predominantly

focused on consumer credit, recoveries

and collections. Debbie has represented

Consumer Credit on the CICM Advisory

Council since 2016 and has served as

Vice Chair on the Executive Board for the

last two years.

In being appointed Chair Debbie says

she is honoured: “I’d like to think that

I’ve been able to utilise the experience

that I have gained in my ‘day job’ to help

support and shape the CICM over the

last two years and will continue to do so

in the future. We need a collaborative,

forward thinking Executive Board more

than ever to tackle the challenges of a

post-pandemic period that is likely to

have a lasting impact on our industry.”

As Vice Chair, Phil Rice, Head of

Credit at Aggregate Industries UK, has

more than 40 years of experience and is

a passionate supporter of diversity and

inclusion and encouraging women in

credit to achieve senior opportunities.

“We face many challenges which

require strong and informed leadership,”

he says.” I have experience, passion and

a good understanding of the commercial

B2B trade credit environment and

will bring energy, enthusiasm and

experience to support the CICM, the

Chief Executive, the Advisory Council

and the Executive Board.

Glen Bullivant FCICM, CCM(Germany),

a credit professional since Nelson lost his

eye (his words. Ed), has served the CICM

(and ICM in its former incarnation) as

Chairman, Vice Chairman, Treasurer,

Advisory Council and Executive Board

Trustee for several years as well as

representing CICM on the Council of

FECMA.

“The next two years will be critical for

the Institute and its members, as the UK

(and the rest of the world) struggles to

recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,”

Glen says. “The CICM is at the forefront

of business recovery and by serving

on the Executive Board, I hope to help

cement the financial soundness of

the Institute, enabling enhanced and

relevant services for all members. I am

committed to ambitious progress and see

the role of the Executive Board as a pool

of expertise and experience able to guide

and support the Chief Executive and the

whole HQ team in their endeavours. It

remains an honour and privilege to be a

member of the Board, and I bring to it a

good many years’ experience from both

within and without.”

Victoria Herd FCICM(Grad) combines

her roles on the CICM Advisory Council

and Executive Board with being Director

at debt collection agency, Hilton-Baird

Collection Services, where she works

with businesses of all sizes to improve

their credit management performance

and efficiency.

“I’m very much looking forward to

continuing my role on the Executive

Board and am delighted to be appointed

for a second term. It is a huge honour to

represent the CICM in this way and to

play such an important role.

“Credit management professionals are

clearly facing extraordinary challenges

at this difficult time, and the CICM will

be vital in providing valuable support,

guidance and mentoring to help our

members in their roles. I’ll continue

to champion the CICM at every turn,

raise awareness of its excellent work

throughout the business community,

promote best practice and help members

to improve performance and enhance

their careers.”

Phil Holbrough MCICM is a

Commercial Credit Manager with more

than 25-yeas experience, notably within

the construction and manufacturing

sectors. He has been a member of the

CICM for 15 years and is a Committee

member and current Chair/Co-Treasurer

of Yorkshire Ridings Branch of CICM. An

Advisory Council member for two years,

he has now been elected to the Executive

Board 2020.

“I am excited to be elected to the

Executive Board of the CICM as this

offers a seasoned credit manager like

me the opportunity to see the inner

workings of the Institute and its ideology,

and accurately reflect this to the wider

membership via branch activities,” he

says. “As this is a two-way street it also

allows me to present the thoughts and

concepts of grass roots members to the

Executive Board as a possible ingredient

in the future operations of the CICM

- ensuring continued relevance to the

membership.”

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 32



EXECUTIVE BOARD

Debbie Nolan FCICM(Grad) –

Chair

“I’d like to think that I’ve

been able to utilise

the experience that I

have gained in my ‘day

job’ to help support and

shape the CICM over the

last two years and will

continue to do so in

the future.”

Phil Rice –

Vice Chair

“I have experience,

passion and a good

understanding of the

commercial B2B trade

credit environment

and will bring energy,

enthusiasm and experience

to support the CICM, the

Chief Executive.’’

Glen Bullivant FCICM

Treasurer

“The CICM is at the

forefront of business

recovery and by serving

on the Executive Board,

I hope to help cement

the financial soundness

of the Institute, enabling

enhanced and relevant

services for all members.’’

Victoria Herd FCICM(Grad) –

Executive Board Trustee

Phil Holbrough MCICM

Executive Board Trustee

Larry Coltman FCICM

Executive Board Trustee

“I’m very much looking

forward to continuing

my role on the Executive

Board and am delighted to

be appointed for a second

term. It is a huge honour to

represent the CICM in this

way and to play such an

important role.’’

“I am excited to be elected

to the Executive Board of

the CICM as this offers a

seasoned credit manager

like me the opportunity to

see the inner workings of

the Institute and accurately

reflect this to the wider

membership.”

“I am delighted to be

re-elected as a member

of the Executive Board.

Serving is an honour and

a privilege but brings

with it responsibilities as

the CICM enters the next

phase both during and

post-COVID-19.’’

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 33


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Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 35


Appointment |

Credit Academy Trainer

You

Are a passionate expert in credit management.

Are an inspiring trainer, coach and mentor.

Would love the opportunity to shape and influence

the credit talent in industries across the world.

We

Are the world’s largest recognised

professional body for the credit industry.

Are building our training team, thanks to the

recent success of CICM Training.

Have ambitious plans for the future.

Working for the CICM Credit Academy, the learning delivery arm of

the CICM, the new Credit Academy Trainer will enhance the capability

and competencies of CICM members, individuals and credit teams by

designing and delivering training programmes and products.

And there has never been a more exciting time to join our team.

Go to cicm.com/vacancies for a full role description and how to apply.

You have until the end of September.


NEW

FEATURE

PANEL BASHERS

Ship to Shore

In our new series, we ask a panel of credit management

experts to answer some of our readers’ biggest questions.

Does

off-shoring

Accounts

Receivable

work in a

pandemic?

Panellist Nigel Fields

FCICM

COVID-19 has probably impacted every business across

the globe. One area of major concern and possible

disruption is the uncertainty of using a Business Process

Outsourcing (BPO) model especially if it’s off-shore.

The varying infection rates across every country will

make it virtually impossible to get any kind of plan and

consistency if ‘off-shoring.’ Different country rules and regulations

vary widely and are not easily understood either by the organisation

or their customers. This makes managing the ‘off-shore’ BPO extremely

difficult and with so much uncertainty creates a sizeable risk for the

business. This has exposed a huge (probably previously unknown) risk

and weaknesses that was not considered in the past.

We all know that one of the key benefits of BPO outsourcing is

the potential to tap into a skilled workforce and often in countries

with lower staff costs. This however diminishes the levels of control

an organisation might exert over this remote BPO workforce. It also

completely nullifies any ability to change local statutory employment

rules or other laws. The cost benefit is always a major attraction,

but it needs to also be weighed up against the much-increased focus

with working alongside a BPO partner. One must both ensure good

productivity and reliable services. It’s essential to have a good, strong

governance model.

Even with the best governance in place, and amid this pandemic,

the BPO sectors will have really struggled to ensure their workforce is

able to transition to a working-from-home model. This will have been

a humongous (if not, impossible) task, especially in countries where

conditions are really not conducive to a WFH model; poor internet and

telephone connectivity and ensuring the correct controls and security

are in place for clients or even just expecting their employees to have

room and facilities at own homes to provide a service is a huge ask. I

suspect that many BPO employees may have been forced to adapt to

highly irregular working arrangements.

I am absolutely certain that we will start to see both BPO and

their clients aggressively look to ‘de-risk’. COVID-19 will have had a

significant impact on outsourced arrangements. Going forward, I think

that BPO provider’s will transition towards providing more automated

and technical services using Robot Process Automations (RPA) and

Artificial Intelligence (AI). Client organisations will need to pay close

attention to their critical functions and possibly look to bring these

back in-house or maybe find ‘on-shore’ partners where they will have a

much better understanding of local rules and regulations.

Thinking outside the box has never been more important. De-risking

will be essential for businesses to ensure their operations continue

smoothly and without interruptions and disruptions.

NIGEL FIELDS FCICM

A career in credit management spanning more than 30 years, Nigel is now a

senior consultant with a new start-up company TheBossCat.com which provides

knowledge, skills and various services to a wide range of businesses. Nigel spent

20 years working for Twentieth Century Fox International Film Corp. starting out

in its UK business as Credit Manager and rising to Executive Director for Credit,

responsible for (O2C) Order to Cash across Fox’s entire international business

portfolio. Prior to Fox, he worked as the Credit Manager at Hornby Hobbies and

a Credit Controller for GEC. Nigel says: “I attribute much of my career success to

the CICM community where I am always able to draw upon knowledge and skills

from the extensive array of members and partners.”

If you’d like to join our panel of

experts, or if you have a question

to ask, contact the editor at

sfeast@gravityglobal.com

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 37


PAYMENT TRENDS

Calm before the storm

Payment Trends – An Analysis of the UK during

the past six months.

AUTHOR – Jason Braidwood FCICM(Grad)

THE COVID-19 pandemic has certainly

been chaotic for businesses and the

disruption has caused problems in

all areas of business. Setting up home

offices and adapting to a new way of

working has provided many challenges

including those faced by credit and collection teams.

With businesses losing footfall and their usual

income streams, businesses trying to hold onto cash

reserves and simply not being able to get in contact

with finance, credit and collections teams etc, have

struggled with the ‘new’ normal.

When looking at the UK by location it is evident that

nowhere has fared well during the pandemic with all

regions suffering increases in late payments. Northern

Ireland looks to have been hit the hardest hit with late

payments increasing by 36 percent since March with a

DBT going from 13.2 to 20.6, likewise with Yorkshire &

Humberside showing an increase of 28 percent. East

Anglia and the London regions look to have stemmed

the flow of late payments with only slight increases of

six percent and seven percent respectively.

Having reviewed the collections activity within

the UK as a whole, there was a trend during June

whereby many of the leading industries saw spikes

within late payments and whilst this looks to be

stabilising, there has still been a 24 percent increase in

days beyond terms (DBT) within the aforementioned

industries since March. There have been some

improvements however, with notable drops in DBT for

the International Bodies and Financial and Insurance

industries. The highest rises occurred within the

Education and Business from Home industries rising

from 6.7 to 29.5 (77 percent) and 11.3 to 32.2 (65

percent) respectively.

In the latest news with more COVID-19 cases rising

again over the last week or so, there is a question to

be asked if the DBT in both regions and sectors can

reduce to what they were at the end of March 2020

at the start of the pandemic when the average DBT

across the regions was 11.8 and peaked during the

month of June at 17.2. A similar spike occurred in June

2020 when the average DBT across all sectors hit 17.9

from 12.4 in March. Most likely these spikes would

have been customers asking their suppliers for either

extended payment terms or to enter into payment

plans to sustain their cash flows.

As mentioned, August has seen every region with

exception of Yorkshire and Humberside get better but

is this the calm before the storm and are we facing very

choppy waters in Q3 and Q4? With the Government

furlough scheme ending in October will businesses

have enough funds to continue to meet their debts on

time?

Jason Braidwood is Head of Credit and Collections at

Creditsafe Group.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 38


PAYMENT TRENDS

Data supplied by the Creditsafe Group

Top Five Prompter Payers

Region Aug 20 Change from Jul 20

South West 13.2 -1

East Anglia 13.7 -1.8

Scotland 14 -3.4

Wales 14 -1

West Midlands 14.1 -4.4

Bottom Five Poorest Payers

Region Feb 20 Change from Jan 20

Northern Ireland 20.6 -0.5

South East 17.2 0

Yorkshire and Humberside 16.2 0.4

East Midlands 15.1 -4.1

North West 14.7 -2.4

Getting Worse

Education 15.9

Business from Home 10.6

Health & Social 9.6

Mining and Quarrying 3.8

Public Administration 2.8

Financial and Insurance 2.3

Dormant 0.8

Getting Better

Hospitality -9.6

Transportation and Storage -6.6

Real Estate -6.4

Entertainment -6.1

Energy Supply -5.6

International Bodies -5.6

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing -5.5

Professional and Scientific -5.4

Other Service -3.5

Construction -3

Top Five Prompter Payers

Sector Feb 20 Change from Jan 20

Financial and Insurance 7 2.3

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing 8.6 -5.5

Wholesale and retail trade 11.3 -1.4

Public Administration 11.5 2.8

Hospitality 11.6 -9.6

IT and Comms -2.7

Manufacturing -2.5

Business Admin & Support -2.4

Wholesale and retail trade -1.4

Water & Waste 0.1

Bottom Five Poorest Payers

Sector Feb 20 Change from Jan 20

Business from Home 32.2 10.6

Education 29.5 15.9

Mining and Quarrying 28.1 3.8

Health and Social 20.8 9.6

Dormant 18.5 0.8

SCOTLAND

-3.4 DBT

Region

Getting Better – Getting Worse

-4.4

-4.1

-3.4

-2.4

-1.8

-1

-1

-0.9

-0.5

0

0.4

West Midlands

East Midlands

Scotland

North West

East Anglia

South West

Wales

London

Northern Ireland

South East

Yorkshire and Humberside

NORTHERN

IRELAND

-0.5 DBT

SOUTH

WEST

-1 DBT

WALES

-1 DBT

NORTH

WEST

-2.4 DBT

WEST

MIDLANDS

-4.4 DBT

YORKSHIRE &

HUMBERSIDE

0.4 DBT

EAST

MIDLANDS

-4.1 DBT

LONDON

-0.9 DBT

SOUTH

EAST

0 DBT

EAST

ANGLIA

-1.8 DBT

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 39


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E: ruurd.bakker@onguard.com

W: www.onguard.com

Satago helps business owners and their

accountants avoid credit risks, manage debtors

and access finance when they need it – all in

one platform. Satago integrates with 300+ cloud

accounting apps with just a few clicks, helping

businesses:

Understand their customers - with RISK INSIGHTS

Get paid on time - with automated CREDIT CONTROL

Access funding - with flexible SINGLE INVOICE FINANCE

Visit satago.com and start your free trial today.

T: 020 8050 3015

E: hello@satago.com

W: www.satago.com

HighRadius is a Fintech enterprise Software-as-a-Service

(SaaS) company. Its Integrated Receivables platform

reduces cycle times in the Order to Cash process through

automation of receivables and payments across credit,

e-invoicing and payment processing, cash allocation,

dispute resolution and collections. Powered by the RivanaTM

Artificial Intelligence Engine and Freeda Digital

Assistant for Order to Cash teams, HighRadius enables

more than 450 organisations to leverage machine

learning to predict future outcomes and automate routine

labour intensive tasks.

T: +44 7399 406889

E: gwyn.roberts@highradius.com

W: www.highradius.com

Bottomline Technologies (NASDAQ: EPAY) helps

businesses pay and get paid. Businesses and banks

rely on Bottomline for domestic and international

payments, effective cash management tools, automated

workflows for payment processing and bill review

and state of the art fraud detection, behavioural

analytics and regulatory compliance. Every day, we

help our customers by making complex business

payments simple, secure and seamless.

T: 0870 081 8250

E: emea-info@bottomline.com

W: www.bottomline.com/uk

Dun & Bradstreet Finance Solutions enable modern

finance leaders and credit professionals to improve

business performance through more effective risk

management, identification of growth opportunities,

and better integration of data and insights

across the business. Powered by our Data Cloud,

our solutions provide access to the world’s most

comprehensive commercial data and insights

supplying a continually updated view of business

relationships that help finance and credit teams

stay ahead of market shifts and customer changes.

T: (0800) 001-234

W: www.dnb.co.uk

Key IVR provide a suite of products to assist companies

across Europe with credit management. The

service gives the end-user the means to make a

payment when and how they choose. Key IVR also

provides a state-of-the-art outbound platform

delivering automated messages by voice and SMS.

In a credit management environment, these services

are used to cost-effectively contact debtors and

connect them back into a contact centre or

automated payment line.

T: +44 (0) 1302 513 000

E: sales@keyivr.com

W: www.keyivr.com

With 130+ years of experience, Graydon is a leading

provider of business information, analytics, insights

and solutions. Graydon helps its customers to make

fast, accurate decisions, enabling them to minimise

risk and identify fraud as well as optimise opportunities

with their commercial relationships. Graydon

uses 130+ international databases and the information

of 90+ million companies. Graydon has offices in

London, Cardiff, Amsterdam and Antwerp. Since 2016,

Graydon has been part of Atradius, one of the world’s

largest credit insurance companies.

T: +44 (0)208 515 1400

E: customerservices@graydon.co.uk

W: www.graydon.co.uk

Tinubu Square is a trusted source of trade credit

intelligence for credit insurers and for corporate

customers. The company’s B2B Credit Risk

Intelligence solutions include the Tinubu Risk

Management Center, a cloud-based SaaS platform;

the Tinubu Credit Intelligence service and the

Tinubu Risk Analyst advisory service. Over 250

companies rely on Tinubu Square to protect their

greatest assets: customer receivables.

T: +44 (0)207 469 2577 /

E: uksales@tinubu.com

W: www.tinubu.com.

Building on our mature and hugely successful

product and world class support service, we are

re-imagining our risk awareness module in 2019 to

allow for hugely flexible automated worklists and

advanced visibility of areas of risk. Alongside full

integration with all credit scoring agencies (e.g.

Creditsafe), this makes Credica a single port-of-call

for analysis and automation. Impressive results

and ROI are inevitable for our customers that also

have an active input into our product development

and evolution.

T: 01235 856400

E: info@credica.co.uk

W: www.credica.co.uk

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 40


Each of our Corporate Partners is carefully selected for

their commitment to the profession, best practice in the

Credit Industry and the quality of services they provide.

We are delighted to showcase them here.

THEY'RE WAITING TO TALK TO YOU...

Hays Credit Management is a national specialist

division dedicated exclusively to the recruitment of

credit management and receivables professionals,

at all levels, in the public and private sectors. As

the CICM’s only Premium Corporate Partner, we

are best placed to help all clients’ and candidates’

recruitment needs as well providing guidance on

CV writing, career advice, salary bench-marking,

marketing of vacancies, advertising and campaign

led recruitment, competency-based interviewing,

career and recruitment trends.

T: 07834 260029

E: karen.young@hays.com

W: www.hays.co.uk/creditcontrol

The Atradius Collections business model is to support

businesses and their recoveries. We are seeing a

deterioration and increase in unpaid invoices placing

pressures on cashflow for those businesses. Brexit is

causing uncertainty and we are seeing a significant

impact on the UK economy with an increase in

insolvencies, now also impacting the continent and

spreading. Our geographical presence is expanding

and with a single IT platform across the globe we can

provide greater efficiencies and effectiveness to our

clients to recover their unpaid invoices.

T: +44 (0)2920 824700

W: www.atradiuscollections.com/uk/

Shoosmiths’ highly experienced team will work

closely with credit teams to recover commercial

debts as quickly and cost effectively as possible.

We have an in depth knowledge of all areas of debt

recovery, including:

• Pre-litigation services to effect early recovery and

keep costs down • Litigation service • Insolvency

• Post-litigation services including enforcement

As a client of Shoosmiths, you will find us quick to

relate to your goals, and adept at advising you on the

most effective way of achieving them.

T: 03700 86 3000

E: paula.swain@shoosmiths.co.uk

W: www.shoosmiths.co.uk

Forums International has been running Credit and

Industry Forums since 1991 covering a range of

industry sectors and international trading. Attendance

is for credit professionals of all levels. Our forums

are not just meetings but communities which

aim to prepare our members for the challenges

ahead. Attending for the first time is free for you to

gauge the benefits and meet the members and we

only have pre-approved Partners, so you will never

intentionally be sold to.

T: +44 (0)1246 555055

E: info@forumsinternational.co.uk

W: www.forumsinternational.co.uk

Improve cash flow, cash collection and prevent late

payment with Corrivo from Data Interconnect.

Corrivo, intelligent invoice to cash automation

highlights where accounts receivable teams should

focus their effort for best results. Easy-to-learn,

Invoicing, Collection and Dispute modules get collection

teams up and running fast. Minimal IT input required.

Real-time dashboards, reporting and self-service

customer portals, improve customer communication

and satisfaction scores. Cost-effective, flexible Corrivo,

super-charges your cash collection effort.

T: +44 (0)1367 245777

E: sales@datainterconnect.co.uk

W: www.datainterconnect.com

Serrala optimizes the Universe of Payments for

organisations seeking efficient cash visibility

and secure financial processes. As an SAP

Partner, Serrala supports over 3,500 companies

worldwide. With more than 30 years of experience

and thousands of successful customer projects,

including solutions for the entire order-to-cash

process, Serrala provides credit managers and

receivables professionals with the solutions they

need to successfully protect their business against

credit risk exposure and bad debt loss.

T: +44 118 207 0450

E: contact@serrala.com

W: www.serrala.com

American Express® is a globally recognised

provider of business payment solutions, providing

flexible capabilities to help companies drive

growth. These solutions support buyers and

suppliers across the supply chain with working

capital and cashflow.

By creating an additional lever to help support

supplier/client relationships American Express is

proud to be an innovator in the business payments

space.

T: +44 (0)1273 696933

W: www.americanexpress.com

C2FO turns receivables into cashflow and payables

into income, uniquely connecting buyers and

suppliers to allow discounts in exchange for

early payment of approved invoices. Suppliers

access additional liquidity sources by accelerating

payments from buyers when required in just two

clicks, at a rate that works for them. Buyers, often

corporates with global supply chains, benefit from

the C2FO solution by improving gross margin while

strengthening the financial health of supply chains

through ethical business practices.

T: 07799 692193

E: anna.donadelli@c2fo.com

W: www.c2fo.com

Esker’s Accounts Receivable (AR) solution removes

the all-too-common obstacles preventing today’s

businesses from collecting receivables in a

timely manner. From credit management to cash

allocation, Esker automates each step of the orderto-cash

cycle. Esker’s automated AR system helps

companies modernise without replacing their

core billing and collections processes. By simply

automating what should be automated, customers

get the post-sale experience they deserve and your

team gets the tools they need.

T: +44 (0)1332 548176

E: sam.townsend@esker.co.uk

W: www.esker.co.uk

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 41


INTRODUCING OUR

CORPORATE

PARTNERS

For further information and to discuss the

opportunities of entering into a Corporate

Partnership with the CICM, please contact

corporatepartners@cicm.com

The Company Watch platform provides risk analysis

and data modelling tools to organisations around

the world that rely on our ability to accurately predict

their exposure to financial risk. Our H-Score®

predicted 92 percent of quoted company insolvencies

and our TextScore® accuracy rate was 93

percent. Our scores are trusted by credit professionals

within banks, corporates, investment houses

and public sector bodies because, unlike other credit

reference agencies, we are transparent and flexible

in our approach.

T: +44 (0)20 7043 3300

E: info@companywatch.net

W: www.companywatch.net

‘‘

CICM offered the

prospect of qualifications,

but as soon as I became

a member, loads of other

opportunities came to

light that I hadn’t initially

realised were available.

Molly Kane

ACICM

Chris Sanders Consulting (Sanders Consulting

Associates) has three areas of activity providing

credit management leadership and performance

improvement, international working capital

improvement consulting assignments and

managing the CICMQ Best Practice Accreditation

programme on behalf of the CICM. Plans for

2019 include international client assignments in

India, China, USA, Middle East and the ongoing

development of the CICMQ Programme.

T: +44(0)7747 761641

E: chris@chrissandersconsulting.com

W: www.chrissandersconsulting.com

Operating across seven UK offices, Menzies LLP is

an accountancy firm delivering traditional services

combined with strategic commercial thinking. Our

services include: advisory, audit, corporate and

personal tax, corporate finance, forensic accounting,

outsourcing, wealth management and business

recovery – the latter of which includes our specialist

offering developed specifically for creditors. For

more information on this, or to see how the Menzies

Creditor Services team can assist you, please

visit: www.menzies.co.uk/creditor-services.

The value

of CICM

membership

Molly Kane ACICM

AR Credit and Collections Manager

Stuart Delivery Ltd

Read more about her story and join your

credit community by visiting:

www.cicm.com/value-of-cicm-membership/

T: +44 (0)2073 875 868 - London

T: +44 (0)2920 495 444 - Cardiff

W: menzies.co.uk/creditor-services

info@cicm.com

www.cicm.com

01780 722900

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 42


presents
























www.ddisoftware.co.uk

sales@ddisoftware.co.uk

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 43


Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 44


OPINION

Mind over Matter

Additional powers are needed to keep pace with

marketing tactics used by intermediaries.

AUTHOR – Michelle Thorp

Michelle Thorp

AS stated by the mental

health charity Mind, one

in four adults in England

experiences a diagnosable

mental health condition

in any one year. According

to the Money and Mental Health Policy

Institute, half of those in problem debt in

England (debt that they are unable to pay

back) also have a mental health problem.

In a survey conducted by the institute, of

nearly 5,500 people with experience of

mental health problems, 86 percent said

that their financial situation had made

their mental health problems worse.

Mental health is already a key issue in

today’s society that many are working to

address in different settings, and it has

taken on particular weight during the

response to COVID-19. Across financial

services, firms and other organisations

have brought, and are bringing, mental

health and vulnerability into focus

amongst stakeholders.

In the insolvency profession and

related groups such as the creditor

community, working with vulnerable

people is part of the job. As many of us will

know, identifying vulnerability amongst

clients and other stakeholders often isn’t

easy. To address this responsibility, we at

the IPA support the adoption of a clear

vulnerability procedure, with a process

for identifying vulnerable clients. This

process may include the establishment

of mental health specialists whose

training and experience can be drawn

on, as well as expanded staff training on

vulnerability. Organisations may also look

to tailor contact methods and make any

other reasonable adjustments.

ESSENTIAL ADVICE

There are multiple solutions available to

people who find themselves in debt, each

with their own terms, designed to apply

to a range of situations. In some cases,

there can be serious consequences from

defaulting on such agreements, which

the individual must consider before

committing to a particular solution.

Those in debt and deemed as vulnerable

can, through no fault of their own, be

exposed to the risk of signing up to an

unmanageable plan to repay their debt,

through a poor level of advice having been

given. This is of particular concern to us

at the IPA. We also pay attention to how

debt solutions are marketed.

As well as our current

work to support the

oversight of the debt

advice sector and protect

vulnerable individuals,

the IPA is lobbying for

additional powers to

act in this space, as the

market has developed

beyond what the

regulation can achieve.

Insolvency firms and debt charities give

initial advice to prospective clients, and

there exists a number of ‘introducer’ firms

who act as intermediaries between the

prospective client and insolvency firms.

The introducer firms offer advice before

making a recommendation as to the debt

solution that would suit the client’s needs

and referring them on to an insolvency

firm. Working with introducer firms

can form part of insolvency practitioner

marketing.

The IPA became concerned about

the level of advice offered by introducer

firms, and we subsequently made it a

requirement of members of our Volume

Provider Regulation (VPR) scheme to only

use introducer firms that are regulated

by the Financial Conduct Authority

(FCA). The VPR scheme, which I have

referred to in previous articles, regulates

most of the largest providers of personal

debt solutions in the UK and covers the

majority of UK insolvencies. It requires

of its members far greater transparency,

monitoring and data sharing than any

other firms in the insolvency sector. We

are looking to open up the scheme to

other insolvency firms.

The UK Government is expected

to legislate to make it compulsory for

introducer firms to be FCA authorised,

in a move that, where required, should

raise the level of debt advice provided

by these firms. The Scottish Government

recently published a report into the

use of Protected Trust Deeds (PTDs), a

Scottish debt solution that is covered by

our VPR scheme. We were pleased to note

the recognition given to the IPA in the

report in being the first to introduce this

measure.

In a move that we support, Google has

acted to put a stop to introducer firms

appearing at the top of search results for

debt advice. While it is fine for introducer

firms to provide advice, we would

recommend debt charities as a first port

of call.

We have recently seen activity to

dodge Google’s new restrictions, involving

more layering of advice from websites

that directly mimic or blatantly copy the

free sector and charitable organisations.

The client is then packaged through an

FCA regulated company and on to an

Insolvency Practitioner. This is deeply

concerning activity, especially with

vulnerable people in mind. These websites

are not under the IPA’s jurisdiction as an

insolvency regulator, but we are keen to

see this practice curtailed.

As well as our current work to support

the oversight of the debt advice sector and

protect vulnerable individuals, the IPA is

lobbying for additional powers to act in

this space, as the market has developed

beyond what the regulation can achieve.

While the vast majority of Insolvency

Practitioners are duly diligent in the

marketing they employ, we continue to

closely monitor this area. In doing this,

we work with the FCA and the Advertising

Standards Authority (ASA) where

appropriate, and with consideration of

vulnerable individuals as a key concern.

Michelle Thorp is CEO, Insolvency

Practitioners Association.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 45


EDUCATION & MARKETING

CICM Virtual Training is an ‘access anywhere’ range of interactive, online training

courses, designed to give you the skills and tools you need to thrive in your credit

work. Each training course offers high quality approaches to credit-related topics, and

practical skills that can be used in your workplace. A highly qualified trainer, with an

array of credit management experience, will guide you through the subject to give you

practical skills, improved results and greater confidence.

These are pre-recorded training

sessions that you can access

anywhere and at anytime. Short,

sharp and to the point – these suit

you if you are short on time, or need

a quick introduction or update on a

subject.

These are live, interactive sessions,

delivered virtually by a qualified trainer,

experienced in the subject. Through

a series of tasks and discussions, you

will access a hands-on training session

that offers the best practice approach to

essential credit and debt skills.

MEET YOUR TRAINER: Jules Eames FCICM(Grad); PGCE, is a qualified teacher,

trainer and credit manager with experience in credit and debt specialisms across the

O2C spectrum and ancillary businesses, in consumer, B2B and export markets.

INTRODUCTORY PRICE £90.00+VAT per person.

For group training, please contact info@cicm.com

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 46


$

Advancing

Careers

Advancing

Best Practice

Advancing

Connections

Advancing

Skills

Advancing

Thinking

Advancing

Business

ADVANCING THE

CREDIT PROFESSION

01780 722900 | www.cicm.com

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 47


AWARDING BODY

LEVEL 3 DIPLOMA IN CREDIT MANAGEMENT (ACICM)

NAME

Heather Bauer

Jack Colvin

Ajay Dulay-Kainth

Wendy Hall

Christopher Hardman

Karolina Houchot

Rebecca Houghton

Aleesha Martin

Danny Martin

Bjorn Reichmann

CONGRATULATIONS

Congratulations to all of the following,

who successfully achieved Diplomas.

Vivienne Rushworth

Therese Siene

Katrina Thomas

Christopher Turner

Deborah Williamson

Christopher Deering

Dumitru Marocico

Louise Martin

Rachel Savage

James Doyle

Samantha Goulding

Janice Abbott

Alexis Child

Andreea-Cristina Cireap

Amy Crow

Kelly Firth

Christopher Moore

Emily Palmer

Kiri Tredgett

LEVEL 3 DIPLOMA IN CREDIT & COLLECTIONS (ACICM)

NAME

Karen Woolley

Christa Smith

Leigh Bell-Roberts

Jason Bond

Louise Brailsford

James Hall

Gemma Heyes

Lesley Perryman

Steven Radley

Christa Smith

Leigh Bell-Roberts

Jason Bond

Louise Brailsford

James Hall

Gemma Heyes

Lesley Perryman

Steven Radley

LEVEL 4 DIPLOMA IN HIGH COURT ENFORCEMENT

NAME

Andrew Coates

Morgan Sheldon

LEVEL 5 DIPLOMA IN CREDIT MANAGEMENT (MCICM(GRAD))

NAME

Mark Bumpsteed

Michelle Cawley

LEVEL 5 DIPLOMA IN CREDIT & COLLECTIONS MANAGEMENT

(MCICM(GRAD))

NAME

Teelah Ford Anna Harrison Samantha Hill

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 48


www.cicm.com

‘‘

Since being a

member I am kept

updated on latest changes

to laws and regulations,

good governance and

not forgetting the

wealth of knowledge.

Laural Jefferies, FCICM

The value

of CICM

membership

Laural Jefferies, FCICM

Head of Accounts Receivable,

Fashion Edge Ltd

Read more about her story and join your

credit community by visiting:

www.cicm.com/value-of-cicm-membership/

info@cicm.com

www.cicm.com

01780 722900


NEW AND UPGRADED MEMBERS

Do you know someone who would benefit from CICM membership? Or have

you considered applying to upgrade your membership? See our website

www.cicm.com/membership-types for more details, or call us on 01780 722903

Fellow

Abimbola Odunsi FCICM

Member

Jagdeep Bassi MCICM

Danielle Duke MCICM

Associate

Kirsty Scott ACICM

Member (By exam)

Irfan Majeed MCICM(Grad)

Affiliate

Radu Iamandi MCICM

Sean Keeley MCICM

Paul Martin MCICM

Brett Cooper Karen Fulls Kevin Mills Ryan Miles

Studying Member

Laura Bagnall

Rachel Callaghan

Beata Czuber

Leanne Dagg

Emma Davis

Donna Draycott

Rafal Gibas

Kirralee Green

Charlotte Griffiths

Louise Kay

Edward Price

Rosemary Roots

Kara Said

Mohammed Shahid

Rhian Showers

Sean Sideris

Sharon Simm

Jayne Szandrowski

Michael Wright

WE WANT YOUR BRANCH NEWS!

Get in touch with the CICM by emailing branches@cicm.com

with your branch news and event reports. Please only send up to 400 words

and any images need to be high resolution to be printable, so 1MB plus.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 50


What impact will

Crown Preference have

on creditors? Page 12

The future of collections

could be a robot called

AVA. Page 14

THE CICM MAGAZINE FOR CONSUMER AND

COMMERCIAL CREDIT PROFESSIONALS

CM Jan/Feb 2020.indd 1 22/01/2020 10:17

CICM British

Credit Awards

2020

Are customers engaging

with new digital

communications? Page 12

Sean Feast speaks to

Jo Kettner of Company

Watch. Page 17

THE CICM MAGAZINE FOR CONSUMER AND

COMMERCIAL CREDIT PROFESSIONALS

CM March 2020.indd 1 21/02/2020 12:21

Advancing the

credit profession.

Page 12

Making

information work.

Page 36

THE CICM MAGAZINE FOR CONSUMER AND

COMMERCIAL CREDIT PROFESSIONALS

CM APRIL 2020.indd 1 20/03/2020 10:34

Are latest insolvency

predictions scare

mongering? Page 12

Sean Feast speaks to

Paladin's Steve Fox.

Page 24

THE CICM MAGAZINE FOR CONSUMER AND

COMMERCIAL CREDIT PROFESSIONALS

CM MAY 2020.indd 1 21/04/2020 11:08

A credit squeeze is

coming but how long

will it last? Page 18

Sean Feast talks

to Richard Webster

of AIG. Page 24

THE CICM MAGAZINE FOR CONSUMER AND

COMMERCIAL CREDIT PROFESSIONALS

CM JUNE 2020.indd 1 21/05/2020 11:16

CICM MEMBER

EXCLUSIVE

Your CICM lapel badge

demonstrates your commitment to

professionalism and best practice

TAKE PRIDE IN

WEARING YOUR BADGE

If you haven’t received your badge

contact: cicmmembership@cicm.com

CM

Credit Management magazine for

consumer and commercial credit professionals

CREDIT MANAGEMENT

CM

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020 £12.50

Nudge Nudge

Taking the chance

out of customer

engagement

CREDIT MANAGEMENT

CM

MARCH 2020 £12.50

INSIDE

Winners of the

Treading softly

Ways to reduce your

carbon footprint

CREDIT MANAGEMENT

CM

APRIL 2020 £12.50

LOST AT SEA

Are CRAs doing enough

for the vulnerable?

CREDIT MANAGEMENT

CM

MAY 2020 £12.50

Swings and

Roundabouts

A rough ride for

Debt Purchase

CREDIT MANAGEMENT

CM

JUNE 2020 £12.50

All washed up

Has the Pre Pack Pool

run aground?

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THE LEADING JOURNAL FOR CONSUMER AND COMMERCIAL CREDIT PROFESSIONALS

TO SUBSCRIBE CONTACT: T: 01780 722903| E: ANGELA.COOPER@CICM.COM

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 51


BE ONE CLICK AWAY

FROM OUR WEBSITE

How to set up a great one click link to the CICM website on

your mobile phone. Follow these four simple steps...

Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4

Go to cicm.com > Click highlighted icon at bottom of screen > Click add to Home screen icon

> Click add icon at top right of screen > CICM icon will appear on your screen

Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4

Open cicm.com in Google Chrome browser > Tap Menu button > Tap add shortcut to Home screen

> Icon will appear on your screen. Menu button on other Android devices may be displayed differently.

ADVANCING THE CREDIT PROFESSION IN CREDIT MANAGEMENT

T: +44 (0)1780 722900 | WWW.CICM.COM

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 52


HR MATTERS

SEEING IS BELIEVING

Computer screens, criminal acts and furloughed workers.

AUTHOR – Gareth Edwards

HOW far does disability

discrimination apply when an

employee makes a claim? This

was answered in Robinson v

DWP which focused on alleged

discrimination arising from a

disability.

The claimant suffered migraines and blurred

vision which was recognised as a disability. She

required screen magnification software that

was incompatible with a computer system she

used. Various unsuccessful attempts were made

to improve the claimant’s working conditions.

Progress was slow, and in the absence of a solution

to the computer software issue, the claimant was

transferred to paper-based work in a different

department for over a year.

The claimant brought grievances relating to

the delay in implementing the adjustments. Her

grievances were upheld, and an apology was

issued. However, she appealed on the basis that

no compensation was offered for the stress and

difficulties she had experienced. She subsequently

issued proceedings in the Employment Tribunal

(ET) which upheld the claim of discrimination

arising from disability but dismissed the claim

for failure to make reasonable adjustments. The

ET’s decision was overturned by the EAT. The

claimant accepted the EAT’s findings over her

failure to make reasonable adjustments claim but

appealed to the Court of Appeal in respect of the

discrimination arising from disability claim.

The Court of Appeal rejected the appeal. It

confirmed that in order to succeed in a claim for

disability arising from disability, it is necessary for

the treatment complained of to be ‘because of’ the

disability, with the ‘conscious and/or unconscious

thought processes of the putative discriminators

is likely to be necessary’. It is insufficient to

show that ‘but for’ a disability, the disadvantage

complained of would not have arisen. The facts

suggested that the employer had attempted to

address her concerns but failed to adequately do

so.

Dealing with concerns raised by disabled

employees quickly and maintaining

communication when implementing adjustments

may help avoid staff feeling aggrieved enough to

litigate.

UNFAIR DISMISSAL: THE IMPORTANCE OF

PROCEDURAL FAIRNESS

A recent Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT)

decision – Evans v London Borough of Brent

illustrates the importance of following a fair

procedure prior to dismissal, even where it is

clear the employee has committed a criminal act.

Mr Evans was employed as a deputy

headteacher at Copland Community School.

Following allegations of financial impropriety,

disciplinary proceedings were commenced.

Prior to the disciplinary hearing, Evans was

provided with extensive paperwork relating to the

investigation. Evans requested an extension of time

to master the paperwork and to be accompanied

by his sister, who had previously accompanied

him to interviews but who was on holiday on the

scheduled hearing date. The request was denied,

and he was dismissed following the hearing.

Evans's unfair dismissal claim was stayed

pending the outcome of the criminal case against

him, which found he had received unlawful

overpayments amounting to some £250,000. His

Employment Tribunal claim was then struck out

on the basis that there was no prospect of Evans

recovering financial compensation due to his own

conduct.

Evans appealed, arguing he had a reasonable

prospect of success in respect of the alleged

procedural unfairness, and that this alone was

sufficient for the claim to proceed. The EAT

upheld the appeal despite there being no prospect

of monetary compensation. In its ruling, the

EAT acknowledged the importance for Evans of

a finding of unfair dismissal, which has a value

of its own separate to the issue of monetary

compensation.

Had the employer accepted a short delay in

order to achieve a fair process, it could have saved

the considerable expense of defending its position

at Tribunal.

FURLOUGHED WORKERS’ STATUTORY

REDUNDANCY AND NOTICE PAYMENTS

The Government has announced new protection

for furloughed workers who are made redundant

during furlough.

The new Employment Rights Act 1996

(Coronavirus, Calculation of a Week's Pay)

Regulations 2020 came into effect from 31 July.

Under the new regulations, all workers will be

entitled to statutory redundancy pay calculated

based on their unreduced salary. The statutory

cap on a week's pay will remain in force.

The regulations also apply to statutory notice

payments and basic awards for unfair dismissal

claims, which must also be based on normal

wages rather than the reduced, furlough, rate of

pay.

Where employers need to make redundancies

during furlough leave, the Coronavirus Job

Retention Scheme (CJRS) can continue to be used

to reclaim notice pay up to the cap. It cannot be

used to pay redundancy payments, which must be

financed by employers.

Gareth Edwards is a partner in the employment

team at VWV. gedwards@vwv.co.uk

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 53


Don’t allow long-standing

debts to adversely affect

your business

For all your credit management requirements

Premium Collections Limited have the solution.

Operating on a national and international basis

we can tailor a package of services to meet your

requirements. Staffed by dedicated professionals

with over 50 years combined experience of

handling virtually every type of debt issue.

DEBT COLLECTION

COCREDO

ADVERT

INTERNATIONAL RECOVERIES

ABSCONDER TRACING

VEHICLE REPOSSESSIONS

0161 962 4695

For a detailed discussion on how we can help your business or for a

quotation for any of our services please do not hesitate to contact:

Paul Daine, Managing Director

PO Box 448, Altrincham, Cheshire, WA15 7WP

Email: enquries@premiumcollections.co.uk

Website: www.premiumcollections.co.uk

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 54


BRANCH NEWS

Standing out from the crowd

East of England Branch

THE latest CICM East of

England Branch webinar

- ‘Standing out from the

Crowd - Employment Tips

for Students through to

Credit Professionals in a

Difficult Climate’ - which was held on 19

August did exactly what it said on the tin.

During the webinar, hosted by

Andrew Martin of Hays, our two expert

recruitment specialist speakers - Branch

Members William Plom of Hays and

Chris Parker of Goodman Masson - gave

plenty of excellent advice, and many tips,

for those currently seeking employment.

William and Chris covered CV writing

- opening statements, what to include

(and how best to say it for maximum

impact), and, almost as important, what

to leave out or truncate! Example CVs

were talked through and advice was given

on the layout, format, length of CV and

even the type and size of font to use. They

stressed the importance of including only

relevant qualifications and experience

and the order in which to place them.

Differentiating between current job

responsibilities and actual achievements

was emphasised and examples given.

A different approach was needed for

direct and agency job applications. If

using a recruitment agency, talking to

your contact at the outset, and regularly,

was advised.

Tips were also provided on how, and

when, to use LinkedIn to best effect. The

advice on interview techniques included

how to prepare and dress for both faceto-face

or virtual interviews. Useful tips

on how to ‘stand out from the crowd’,

come across well to the interviewer, and

not being afraid to ask relevant questions

were also covered. We hope that Branch

members, members of other Branches,

and those interested in joining CICM,

found our latest webinar enjoyable,

helpful and informative. The Branch

Committee would like to thank CICM HQ,

our host and both speakers.

Author: Richard Brown, CICM East of

England Branch Vice Chairman.

The value of CICM

membership

‘‘

If you are serious

in furthering your

career in credit

management,

being a member

is essential

Andrew Barbaro

FCICM

Andrew Barbaro FCICM

Director of Customer Financial

Services MEA Emerson Automation

Solutions is a Fellow of the CICM.

Read more about his story and join

your credit community by visiting:

www.cicm.com/

value-of-cicm-membership/

01780 722900 www.cicm.com

info@cicm.com

www.cicm.com

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 55


TAKE CONTROL OF

YOUR CREDIT CAREER

CREDIT MANAGER

North West, up to £53,000 + bonus + benefits

This is a great career opportunity for an expert credit

professional with excellent communication skills to motivate

and influence people at all levels, leading from the front to

successfully exceed business targets and objectives. You will

expertly lead the management and operation of the Collections

teams, delivering against an ambitious cash collection target

and develop a CICM accreditation scheme. Ref: 3836849

Contact Karen Young on 01524 532331

or email karen.young@hays.com

FRENCH CREDIT CONTROLLER

London (relocation to Paris), up to £30,000 + bonus

This role is looking for a comprehensive credit controller who

will be focused on collections, administrative tasks of AR,

invoicing and dealing with projects for specific clients on a half

yearly basis. You will have extensive experience dealing with

credit control and demonstrate this through your career history.

Ref: 3728618

Contact Akshay Caussy on 020 8465 0020

or email akshay.caussy@hays.com

CREDIT CONTROLLER

London, up to £35,000

As a credit controller, you will be focused on collections,

administrative tasks of AR, invoicing and dealing with projects

for specific clients on a half yearly basis. You will have extensive

experience dealing with credit control and demonstrate this

through your career history.

Ref: 3453467

Contact Akshay Caussy on 020 8465 0020

or email akshay.caussy@hays.com

CREDIT CONTROLLER

Wallingford, £23,000-£25,000

A growing business in the financial services industry is looking

for a credit controller to join its busy team. This role will include

being responsible for your own portfolio of clients in order to

effectively collect any outstanding debts so previous experience

is required. This is an exciting time for the business as it is going

through a period of continuous growth. Ref: 3839720

Contact Benjamin Timmins on 01865 727071

or email benjamin.timmins@hays.com

hays.co.uk/creditcontrol

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 56


INSPIRE ME IN THE

NEW ERA OF WORK

Your resource hub for reaching

your career goals

Read our latest guides and articles

Tips to help you prepare successfully

To find out more visit

hays.co.uk/embrace-the-new-era

CREDIT SERVICES ADVISOR

Cheltenham, £22,000-£25,000 DOE

Working for an international leader in industrial manufacturing

based in Cheltenham, the objective of the Credit Services advisor

is to manage the credit accounts of customers in line with the

company’s credit policy; to keep customers within their agreed

terms and escalating where further action is required. You will

proactively support the business to achieve sales and profit

growth. Ref: 3839690

Contact Edward Kennedy on 01242 226227

or email edward.kennedy@hays.com

ASSISTANT CREDIT MANAGER

Surrey, £competitive salary + package

Working in a newly created role, you will support the Credit

Manager with the day-to-day running of the department.

Proven leadership skills and an in-depth knowledge of the order

to cash cycle, in an FMCG/retail environment are essential for

this position. Ref: 3840298

Contact Natascha Whitehead on 01256 633152

or email natascha.whitehead@hays.com

This is just a small selection of the many opportunities we have

available for credit professionals. To find out more visit us

online or contact Kabir Gulabkhan, Hays Credit Management

UK Lead on 020 3465 0020

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 57


WHAT'S ON

We are asking all members to invite a colleague to a CICM membership event,

free of charge. Book online on our website www.cicm.com/cicm-events

ANNOUNCEMENT

We are not able to bring our usual guide

to the CICM and Industry events, as the

calendar and what is on, is changing daily.

Many of our events are now available

online, along with a new series of live and

recorded webinars for the credit profession.

Visit our website for updates and

instructions on how to register.

Advancing the credit the credit profession / / www.cicm.com / September / October 2019 2020 / / PAGE 58 58


More reasons to be a member

Make connections and keep up-to-date

with our exclusive events.

Studying at a

distance

with CICM

From interactive virtual classrooms to supporting texts,

from mentor advice to peer support, we’ve got it all.

Contact CICM for more information on any of these services,

or check them out at cicm.com

Giving you the tools to continue

working through this crisis.

MANAGING THE NEW

CREDIT FUTURE

As the world continues to react

to constant change, our credit

profession needs to prepare for the

new credit future.

For more information contact:

info@cicm.com or 01780 722900

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 59


Cr£ditWho?

CICM Directory of Services

COLLECTIONS

INTERNATIONAL COLLECTIONS

COLLECTIONS LEGAL

Controlaccount Plc

Address: Compass House, Waterside, Hanbury Road,

Bromsgrove, Worcestershire B60 4FD

T: 01527 549 522

E: sales@controlaccount.com

W: www.controlaccount.com

Controlaccount Plc provides an efficient, effective and ethical

commercial debt recovery service focused on improving

business cash flow whilst preserving customer relationships

and established reputations. Working with leading brand names

in the UK and internationally, we deliver a bespoke service to

our clients. We offer a no collect, no fee service without any

contractual ties in. Where applicable, we can utilise the Late

Payment of Commercial Debts Act (2013) to help you redress

the cost of collection. Our clients also benefit from our in-house

international trace and legal counsel departments and have

complete transparency and up to the minute information on any

accounts placed with us for recovery through our online debt

management system, ClientWeb.

INTERNATIONAL COLLECTIONS

Atradius Collections Ltd

3 Harbour Drive,

Capital Waterside, Cardiff, CF10 4WZ

Phone: +44 (0)29 20824397

Mobile: +44 (0)7767 865821

E-mail:yvette.gray@atradius.com

Website: atradiuscollections.com

Atradius Collections Ltd is an established specialist in business

to business collections. As the collections division of the Atradius

Crédito y Caución, we have a strong position sharing history,

knowledge and reputation.

Annually handling more than 110,000 cases and recovering

over a billion EUROs in collections at any one time, we deliver

when it comes to collecting outstanding debts. With over 90

years’ experience, we have an in-depth understanding of the

importance of maintaining customer relationships whilst efficiently

and effectively collecting monies owed.

The individual nature of our clients’ customer relationships is

reflected in the customer focus we provide, structuring our

service to meet your specific needs. We work closely with clients

to provide them with a collection strategy that echoes their

business character, trading patterns and budget.

For further information contact Yvette Gray Country Director, UK

and Ireland.

Premium Collections Limited

3 Caidan House, Canal Road

Timperley, Cheshire. WA14 1TD

T: +44 (0)161 962 4695

E: paul.daine@premiumcollections.co.uk

W: www.premiumcollections.co.uk

For all your credit management requirements Premium

Collections has the solution to suit you. Operating on a national

and international basis we can tailor a package of products and

services to meet your requirements.

Services include B2B collections, B2C collections, international

collections, absconder tracing, asset repossessions, status

reporting and litigation support.

Managed from our offices in Manchester, Harrogate and Dublin

our network of 55 partners cover the World.

Contact Paul Daine FCICM on +44 (0)161 962 4695 or

paul.daine@premiumcollections.co.uk

www.premiumcollections.co.uk

Baker Ing International Limited

Office 7, 35-37 Ludgate Hill, London. EC4M 7JN

Contact: Lisa Baker-Reynolds

Email: lisa@bakering.global

Website: https://www.bakering.global/contact/

Tel: 07717 020659

Baker Ing International is a dedicated team of Credit industry

experience that, combined, covers time served in most industries.

The team is wholly comprised of working Credit Manager’s

across the Globe with a minimum threshold of ten years working

experience within Credit Management. The team offers a

comprehensive service to clients - International Debt Recovery,

Credit Control, Legal Services & more

Our mission is to help companies improve the cost and efficiency

of their Credit Management processes in order to limit the risks

associated with extending credit and trading around the globe.

How can we help you - call Lisa Baker Reynolds on

+44(0)7717 020659 or email lisa@bakering.global

Sterling Debt Recovery

E: info@sterlingdebtrecovery.com

T: 0207 1005978

W: www.sterlingdebtrecovery.com

Sterling specialises in international business debt collection

to get outstanding invoices paid quickly and cost effectively.

Our experienced, enthusiastic collectors achieve results whilst

maintaining a professional image.

We work on a commission only basis with no up-front fees and

no hidden costs. Each client is allocated a named collector for

personal service and regular updates. We collect the majority

of debt without litigation, with our on-site lawyer supporting us

where appropriate.

Where local expertise is required our global network are

available to assist.

COLLECTIONS LEGAL

Keebles

Capitol House, Russell Street, Leeds LS1 5SP

T: 0113 399 3482

E: charise.marsden@keebles.com

W: www.keebles.com

Keebles debt recovery team was named “Legal Team of the Year”

at the 2019 CICM British Credit Awards.

According to our clients “Keebles stand head and shoulders

above others in the industry. A team that understands their client’s

business and know exactly how to speedily maximise recovery.

Professional, can do attitude runs through the team which is not

seen in many other practices.”

We offer a service with no hidden costs, giving you certainty and

peace of mind.

• ‘No recovery, no fee’ for pre-legal work.

• Fixed fees for issuing court proceedings and pursuing claims to

judgment and enforcement.

• Success rate in excess of 80%.

• 24 hour turnaround on instructions.

• Real-time online access to your cases to review progress.

Lovetts Solicitors

Lovetts, Bramley House, The Guildway,

Old Portsmouth Road,

Guildford, Surrey, GU3 1LR

T: 01483 347001

E: info@lovetts.co.uk

W: www.lovetts.co.uk

With more than 25yrs experience in UK & international business

debt collection and recovery, Lovetts Solicitors collects £40m+

every year on behalf of our clients. Services include:

• Letters Before Action (LBA) from £1.50 + VAT (successful in

86% of cases)

• Advice and dispute resolution

• Legal proceedings and enforcement

• 24/7 access to your cases via our in-house software solution,

CaseManager

Don’t just take our word for it, here’s some recent customer

feedback: “All our service expectations have been exceeded.

The online system is particularly useful and extremely easy to

use. Lovetts has a recognisable brand that generates successful

results.”

CONSULTANCY

Sanders Consulting Associates Ltd

T: +44(0)1525 720226

E: enquiries@chrissandersconsulting.com

W: www.chrissandersconsulting.com

Sanders Consulting is an independent niche consulting firm

specialising in leadership and performance improvement in all

aspects of the order to cash process. Chris Sanders FCICM, the

principal, is well known in the industry with a wealth of experience

in operational credit management, billing, change and business

process improvement. A sought after speaker with cross

industry international experience in the business-to-business and

business-to-consumer markets, his innovative and enthusiastic

approach delivers pragmatic people and process lead solutions

and significant working capital improvements to clients.

Sanders Consulting are proud to manage CICMQ on behalf of

and under the supervision of the CICM.

COURT ENFORCEMENT SERVICES

Court Enforcement Services

Wayne Whitford – Director

M: +44 (0)7834 748 183 T : +44 (0)1992 663 399

E : wayne@courtenforcementservices.co.uk

W: www.courtenforcementservices.co.uk

EXPERTLY RESOLVED.

We help law firms, in-house debt recovery and legal teams to

enforce CCJs by transferring them up to the High Court. With

our fast, fair and personable approach to service, we work

harder to bring you the sector’s best results without risking client

reputation.

• Free Transfer Up process of CCJs to High Court

• Market-leading recovery rates

• Over 100,000 writs, recovering >£187 million since 2014

• Real-time access to cases via our own Award-Winning App

• Our highly trained and certificated agents cover every postcode

in England & Wales.

FAST. FAIR. FOR YOU.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 60


FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION OPTIONS AND PRICING CONTACT

russell@cabbells.uk 0203 603 7937

CREDIT INFORMATION

CREDIT INFORMATION

CREDIT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE

CoCredo

Missenden Abbey, Great Missenden, Bucks, HP16 0BD

T: 01494 790600

E: customerservice@cocredo.com

W: www.cocredo.co.uk

We provide business information on over 256 million companies

across 221 countries. Our information is updated over 500,000

times per day and we have some excellent tracking mechanisms

which provide proactive daily monitoring of changes in

the global information on record. We can offer a wealth of

additional services including XML Integration, D.N.A portfolio

management, CoData marketing information, Companies

House documents, Consumer and Director Searches. We pride

ourselves in delivering award winning customer service, offering

you unrivalled support and analysis to protect your business.

CREDIT INFORMATION

THE ONLY AML RESOURCE YOU NEED

SmartSearch

SmartSearch, Harman House,

Station Road,Guiseley, Leeds, LS20 8BX

T: +44 (0)113 238 7660

E: info@smartsearchuk.com W: www.smartsearchuk.com

KYC, AML and CDD all rely on a combination of deep data

with broad coverage, highly automated flexible technology with

an innovative and intuitive customer interface. Key features

include automatic Worldwide Sanction & PEP checking, Daily

Monitoring, Automated Enhanced Due Diligence and proactive

customer management. Choose SmartSearch as your

benchmark.

CEDAR

ROSE

R

Cedar Rose

3, Georgiou Katsonotou Street,3036, Limassol, Cyprus

E: info@cedar-rose.com T: +357 25346630

W: www.cedar-rose.com

Cedar Rose has been globally recognised as the expert for

credit reports, due diligence and data for the Middle East

and North African countries since 1997. We now cover over

170 countries with the same high quality, expert analysis and

attention to detail we are well-known and trusted for.

Making best use of artificial intelligence and technology, Cedar

Rose has won several awards including Credit Excellence &

European Business Awards. Our website is a one-stop-shop for

your business intelligence solutions. We are the ultimate source;

with competitive prices and friendly customer service - whether

you need one or one thousand reports.

Graydon UK

66 College Road, 2nd Floor, Hygeia Building, Harrow,

Middlesex, HA1 1BE

T: +44 (0)208 515 1400

E: customerservices@graydon.co.uk

W: www.graydon.co.uk

With 130+ years of experience, Graydon is a leading provider of

business information, analytics, insights and solutions. Graydon

helps its customers to make fast, accurate decisions, enabling

them to minimise risk and identify fraud as well as optimise

opportunities with their commercial relationships. Graydon uses

130+ international databases and the information of 90+ million

companies. Graydon has offices in London, Cardiff, Amsterdam

and Antwerp. Since 2016, Graydon has been part of Atradius,

one of the world’s largest credit insurance companies.

Company Watch

Centurion House, 37 Jewry Street,

LONDON. EC3N 2ER

T: +44 (0)20 7043 3300

E: info@companywatch.net

W: www.companywatch.net

Organisations around the world rely on Company Watch’s

industry-leading financial analytics to drive their credit risk

processes. Our financial risk modelling and ability to map

medium to long-term risk as well as short-term credit risk set us

apart from other credit reference agencies.

Quality and rigour run through everything we do, from our

unique method of assessing corporate financial health via our

H-Score®, to developing analytics on our customers’ in-house

data.

With the H-Score® predicting almost 90 percent of corporate

insolvencies in advance, it is the risk management tool of

choice, providing actionable intelligence in an uncertain world.

CREDIT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE

ONGUARD

T: +31 (0)88 256 66 66

E: ruurd.bakker@onguard.com

W: www.onguard.com

Onguard is specialist in credit management software and market

leader in innovative solutions for order to cash. Our integrated

platform ensures an optimal connection of all processes in the

order to cash chain and allows sharing of critical data.

Intelligent tools that can seamlessly be interconnected and

offer overview and control of the payment process, as well as

contribute to a sustainable customer relationship.

In more than 50 countries the Onguard platform is successfully

used for successful credit management.

Tinubu Square UK

Holland House, 4 Bury Street,

London EC3A 5AW

T: +44 (0)207 469 2577 /

E: uksales@tinubu.com

W: www.tinubu.com

Founded in 2000, Tinubu Square is a software vendor, enabler

of the Credit Insurance, Surety and Trade Finance digital

transformation.

Tinubu Square enables organizations across the world to

significantly reduce their exposure to risk and their financial,

operational and technical costs with best-in-class technology

solutions and services. Tinubu Square provides SaaS

solutions and services to different businesses including credit

insurers, receivables financing organizations and multinational

corporations.

Tinubu Square has built an ecosystem of customers in over 20

countries worldwide and has a global presence with offices in

Paris, London, New York, Montreal and Singapore.

Credica Ltd

Building 168, Maxell Avenue, Harwell Oxford, Oxon. OX11 0QT

T: 01235 856400E: info@credica.co.uk W: www.credica.co.uk

Our highly configurable and extremely cost effective Collections

and Query Management System has been designed with 3

goals in mind:

•To improve your cashflow • To reduce your cost to collect

• To provide meaningful analysis of your business

Evolving over 15 years and driven by the input of 1000s of

Credit Professionals across the UK and Europe, our system is

successfully providing significant and measurable benefits for

our diverse portfolio of clients.

We would love to hear from you if you feel you would benefit

from our ‘no nonsense’ and human approach to computer

software.

Data Interconnect Ltd

Units 45-50

Shrivenham Hundred Business Park

Majors Road, Watchfield

Swindon, SN6 8TZ

T: +44 (0)1367 245777

E: sales@datainterconnect.co.uk

W: www.datainterconnect.com

Data Interconnect provides Intelligent Invoice to Cash

Automation. Corrivo Billing, Collection and Dispute modules

seamlessly integrate for a rich, end-to-end A/R user experience.

Branded customer portals, real-time dashboards, advanced

reporting, available in 15 languages as standard; are some of

the reason why global brands choose Data Interconnect.

HighRadius

T: +44 7399 406889

E: gwyn.roberts@highradius.com

W: www.highradius.com

HighRadius is the leading provider of Integrated Receivables

solutions for automating receivables and payment functions

such as credit, collections, cash allocation, deductions and

eBilling. The Integrated Receivables suite is delivered as a

software-as-a-service (SaaS). HighRadius also offers SAPcertified

Accelerators for SAP S/4HANA Finance Receivables

Management, enabling large enterprises to maximize the value

of their SAP investments. HighRadius Integrated Receivables

solutions have a proven track record of reducing days sales

outstanding (DSO), bad-debt and increasing operation efficiency,

enabling companies to achieve an ROI in less than a year.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 61


Cr£ditWho?

CICM Directory of Services

FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION

OPTIONS AND PRICING CONTACT

russell@cabbells.uk 0203 603 7937

CREDIT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE

DATA AND ANALYTICS

FORUMS

ESKER

Sam Townsend Head of Marketing

Northern Europe Esker Ltd.

T: +44 (0)1332 548176 M: +44 (0)791 2772 302

W: www.esker.co.uk LinkedIn: Esker – Northern Europe

Twitter: @EskerNEurope blog.esker.co.uk

Esker’s Accounts Receivable (AR) solution removes the

all-too-common obstacles preventing today’s businesses

from collecting receivables in a timely manner. From credit

management to cash allocation, Esker automates each step of

the order-to-cash cycle. Esker’s automated AR system helps

companies modernise without replacing their core billing and

collections processes. By simply automating what should

be automated, customers get the post-sale experience they

deserve and your team gets the tools they need.

Dun & Bradstreet

Marlow International, Parkway Marlow

Buckinghamshire SL7 1AJ

Telephone: (0800) 001-234 Website: www.dnb.co.uk

Dun & Bradstreet Finance Solutions enable modern finance

leaders and credit professionals to improve business

performance through more effective risk management,

identification of growth opportunities, and better integration

of data and insights across the business. Powered by our

Data Cloud, our solutions provide access to the world’s most

comprehensive commercial data and insights - supplying a

continually updated view of business relationships that helps

finance and credit teams stay ahead of market shifts and

customer changes. Learn more here:

www.dnb.co.uk/modernfinance

FORUMS INTERNATIONAL

T: +44 (0)1246 555055

E: info@forumsinternational.co.uk

W: www.forumsinternational.co.uk

Forums International Ltd have been running Credit and Industry

Forums since 1991. We cover a range of industry sectors and

International trading, attendance is for Credit Professionals of

all levels. Our forums are not just meetings but communities

which aim to prepare our members for the challenges ahead.

Attending for the first time is free for you to gauge the benefits

and meet the members and we only have pre-approved

Partners, so you will never intentionally be sold to.

INSOLVENCY

SERRALA

Serrala UK Ltd, 125 Wharfdale Road

Winnersh Triangle, Wokingham

Berkshire RG41 5RB

E: r.hammons@serrala.com W: www.serrala.com

T +44 118 207 0450 M +44 7788 564722

Serrala optimizes the Universe of Payments for organisations

seeking efficient cash visibility and secure financial processes.

As an SAP Partner, Serrala supports over 3,500 companies

worldwide. With more than 30 years of experience and

thousands of successful customer projects, including solutions

for the entire order-to-cash process, Serrala provides credit

managers and receivables professionals with the solutions they

need to successfully protect their business against credit risk

exposure and bad debt loss.

C2FO

C2FO Ltd

105 Victoria Steet

SW1E 6QT

T: 07799 692193

E: anna.donadelli@c2fo.com

W: www.c2fo.com

C2FO turns receivables into cashflow and payables into

income, uniquely connecting buyers and suppliers to allow

discounts in exchange for early payment of approved invoices.

Suppliers access additional liquidity sources by accelerating

payments from buyers when required in just two clicks, at a

rate that works for them. Buyers, often corporates with global

supply chains, benefit from the C2FO solution by improving

gross margin while strengthening the financial health of supply

chains through ethical business practices.

Menzies

T: +44 (0)2073 875 868 - London

T: +44 (0)2920 495 444 - Cardiff

W: menzies.co.uk/creditor-services

Operating across seven UK offices, Menzies LLP is an

accountancy firm delivering traditional services combined with

strategic commercial thinking. Our services include: advisory,

audit, corporate and personal tax, corporate finance, forensic

accounting, outsourcing, wealth management and business

recovery – the latter of which includes our specialist offering

developed specifically for creditors. For more information on

this, or to see how the Menzies Creditor Services team can

assist you, please

visit: www.menzies.co.uk/creditor-services. Bethan Evans,

Partner and Head of Menzies Creditor Services, email:

bevans@menzies.co.uk and phone: +44 (0)2920 447512

LEGAL

Redwood Collections Ltd

0208 288 3555

enquiry@redwoodcollections.com

Airport House, Purley Way, Croydon, CR0 0XZ

“Redwood Collections offers a complete portfolio of debt

collection services ranging from sensitive client-debtor

mediation through to legal and insolvency action.

Incorporated in 2009, we are pleased to represent in excess of

11,000 clients. Whatever your debt collection needs, we have

the expertise and resources to deliver a fast, efficient and costeffective

solution.”

Satago

48 Warwick Street, London, W1B 5AW

T: +44(0)020 8050 3015

E: hello@satago.com

W: www.satago.com

Satago helps business owners and their accountants avoid

credit risks, manage debtors and access finance when they

need it – all in one platform. Satago integrates with 300+ cloud

accounting apps with just a few clicks, helping businesses:

• Understand their customers - with RISK INSIGHTS

• Get paid on time - with automated CREDIT CONTROL

• Access funding - with flexible SINGLE INVOICE FINANCE

Visit satago.com and start your free trial today.

identeco – Business Support Toolkit

Compass House, Waterside, Hanbury Road, Bromsgrove,

Worcestershire B60 4FD

Telephone: 01527 549 531 Email: info@identeco.co.uk

Web: www.identeco.co.uk

identeco’s Business Support Toolkit is an online portal

connecting its subscribers to a range of business services that

help them to engage with new prospects, understand their

customers and mitigate risk. Annual subscription is £79.95 per

year for unlimited access. Providing company information and

financial reports, director and shareholder structures as well as a

unique financial health rating, balance sheets, ratio analysis, and

any detrimental data that might be associated with a company.

Other services also included in the subscription include a

business names database, acquisition targets, a data audit

service as well as unlimited, bespoke marketing and telesales

listings for any sector.

FINANCIAL PR

Gravity Global

Floor 6/7, Gravity Global, 69 Wilson St, London, EC2A 2BB

T: +44(0)207 330 8888. E: sfeast@gravityglobal.com

W: www.gravityglobal.com

Gravity is an award winning full service PR and advertising

business that is regularly benchmarked as being one of the

best in its field. It has a particular expertise in the credit sector,

building long-term relationships with some of the industry’s

best-known brands working on often challenging briefs. As

the partner agency for the Credit Services Association (CSA)

for the past 22 years, and the Chartered Institute of Credit

Management since 2006, it understands the key issues

affecting the credit industry and what works and what doesn’t in

supporting its clients in the media and beyond.

Shoosmiths

Email: paula.swain@shoosmiths.co.uk

Tel: 03700 86 3000 W: www.shoosmiths.co.uk

Shoosmiths’ highly experienced team will work closely with credit

teams to recover commercial debts as quickly and cost effectively

as possible. We have an in depth knowledge of all areas of debt

recovery, including:

•Pre-litigation services to effect early recovery and keep costs down

•Litigation service

•Post-litigation services including enforcement

•Insolvency

As a client of Shoosmiths, you will find us quick to relate to your

goals, and adept at advising you on the most effective way of

achieving them.

PAYMENT SOLUTIONS

Bottomline Technologies

115 Chatham Street, Reading

Berks RG1 7JX | UK

T: 0870 081 8250 E: emea-info@bottomline.com

W: www.bottomline.com/uk

Bottomline Technologies (NASDAQ: EPAY) helps businesses

pay and get paid. Businesses and banks rely on Bottomline

for domestic and international payments, effective cash

management tools, automated workflows for payment

processing and bill review and state of the art fraud detection,

behavioural analytics and regulatory compliance. Businesses

around the world depend on Bottomline solutions to help them

pay and get paid, including some of the world’s largest systemic

banks, private and publicly traded companies and Insurers.

Every day, we help our customers by making complex business

payments simple, secure and seamless.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 62


PAYMENT SOLUTIONS

American Express

76 Buckingham Palace Road,

London. SW1W 9TQ

T: +44 (0)1273 696933

W: www.americanexpress.com

American Express is working in partnership with the CICM

and is a globally recognised provider of payment solutions

to businesses. Specialising in providing flexible collection

capabilities to drive a number of company objectives including:

• Accelerate cashflow • Improved DSO • Reduce risk

• Offer extended terms to customers

• Provide an additional line of bank independent credit to drive

growth • Create competitive advantage with your customers

As experts in the field of payments and with a global reach,

American Express is working with credit managers to drive

growth within businesses of all sectors. By creating an additional

lever to help support supplier/client relationships American

Express is proud to be an innovator in the business payments

space.

ARE YOU A LEADER

OR FOLLOWER?

Key IVR

T: +44 (0) 1302 513 000

E: sales@keyivr.com

W: www.keyivr.com

Key IVR are proud to have joined the Chartered Institute of

Credit Management’s Corporate partnership scheme. The

CICM is a recognised and trusted professional entity within

credit management and a perfect partner for Key IVR. We are

delighted to be providing our services to the CICM to assist

with their membership collection activities. Key IVR provides

a suite of products to assist companies across the globe with

credit management. Our service is based around giving the

end-user the means to make a payment when and how they

choose. Using automated collection methods, such as a secure

telephone payment line (IVR), web and SMS allows companies

to free up valuable staff time away from typical debt collection.

RECRUITMENT

Hays Credit Management

107 Cheapside, London, EC2V 6DN

T: 07834 260029

E: karen.young@hays.com

W: www.hays.co.uk/creditcontrol

Hays Credit Management is working in partnership with the

CICM and specialise in placing experts into credit control jobs

and credit management jobs. Hays understands the demands

of this challenging environment and the skills required to thrive

within it. Whatever your needs, we have temporary, permanent

and contract based opportunities to find your ideal role. Our

candidate registration process is unrivalled, including faceto-face

screening interviews and a credit control skills test

developed exclusively for Hays by the CICM. We offer CICM

members a priority service and can provide advice across a wide

spectrum of job search and recruitment issues.

PORTFOLIO

CREDIT CONTROL

Portfolio Credit Control

1 Finsbury Square, London. EC2A 1AE

T: 0207 650 3199

E: recruitment@portfoliocreditcontrol.com

W: www.portfoliocreditcontrol.com

CICMQ accreditation is a proven model

that has consistently delivered dramatic

improvements in cashflow and efficiency

CICMQ is the hallmark of industry

leading organisations

The CICM Best Practice Network is where

CICMQ accredited organisations come

together to develop, share and celebrate

best practice in credit and collections

BE A LEADER – JOIN THE CICM BEST

PRACTICE NETWORK TODAY

To find out more about flexible options

to gain CICMQ accreditation

E: cicmq@cicm.com T: 01780 722900

Portfolio Credit Control, solely specialises in the recruitment of

permanent, temporary and contract Credit Control, Accounts

Receivable and Collections staff. Part of an award winning

recruiter we speak to and meet credit controllers all day everyday

understanding their skills and backgrounds to provide you with

tried and tested credit control professionals. We have achieved

enormous growth because we offer a uniquely specialist

approach to our clients, with a commitment to service delivery

that exceeds your expectations every single time.

Advancing the credit profession / www.cicm.com / October 2020 / PAGE 63


Don’t get

STUNG

Taking on board new clients without

getting the appropriate credit checks

could lead to a nasty shock.

Contact us to find out about our

award-winning company credit reports.

01494 790600 www.cocredo.co.uk

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